Deep-sea fishermen putting inshore fishermen out of business

The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry today warned deep-sea fishermen of action against them if they continue to trespass into the inshore fishing zone.

Deputy minister Mohd Johari Baharom said that many in shore fishermen,especially in Yan, had complained that deep-sea fishermen from Kuala Kedah were entering their area and using the purse seine, a huge net to catch large quantities of fish.

“After they have used the purse seine in Yan waters, the local fishermen were left with very little fish,” he told reporters.

He said the deep-sea fishermen were not respecting the rights of inshore fishermen and the ministry’s allocation of fishing areas.

If they persisted in trespassing into the inshore fishing zone, a largescale operation would be carried out to nab them, Mohd Johari said, but did not specify what action to be taken against those caught. Mohd Johari said there were about 40,000 in shore fishermen in the country and they were only allowed to fish within five nautical miles of the shore .

In contrast, deep-sea fishermen number only 8,000 and they had large areas to fish in, he added.

Mohd Johari said the ministry would meet the deep-sea fishermen to get anassurance from them that they would not trespass into inshore fishing areas.

He also said the ministry was considering installing vessel trackers ontheir boats to monitor their movement.