Driftnet use by local fishermen driving turtles extinct

The Fisheries Department has seized41 drift nets which is one of the causes of turtle deaths off the shores of Mengabang Telipot, Batu Rakit yesterday in the first half of this year.

State Fisheries Director, Zakaria Ismail said the department had been carrying out an operation in the area as there were many dead turtles.

“However, no owners of drift nets or also known as stingray nets were arrested in the operation,” he told reporters.

Zakaria said last year the department seized about 50 stingray nets along the coast of Kemaman to Kuala Terengganu.

He said during the period, the department found several turtle carcasses on the beach of Mengabang Telipot believed to have been trapped by stingray nets.

He said the department took a serious view of the matter as it was one of the causes of turtle depletion.

Indirectly he said drift nets were jeopardising the effort of the Fisheries Department in increasing the future population of turtles through its turtle egg hatching programme.

He said drift net fishermen were very crafty and difficult to detect as they carried out their activities in the night to avoid apprehension by the authorities.

He said drift nets with 10-inch mesh and above were prohibited by the Terengganu State Fisheries Department.

– Bernama