Malaysia: Johor fishermen lament drop in catch due to sand extraction project

The Star 7 Nov 11;

MERSING: About 800 fishermen from eight villages in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi and Johor Baru are claiming that their catch has fallen by nearly 80% due to sand extraction activities which began two weeks ago.

Pengerang Fishermen Action Committee representative Wahab Ibrahim claimed that the company used pumps to extract sand, causing the water in the area to turn muddy.

“Due to this, the fishes in the area have also reduced dramatically.

“This is affecting our livelihood,” he said during a dialogue session between the fishermen and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Wahab acknowledged that the company had compensated several fishermen in two villages but those from the six other villages had not received anything yet.

“Fishing is our only source of income,” he said.

“Some of us are now forced to travel as far as 10 nautical miles to catch fish.

“We are losing out as we now have to pay additional petrol costs.

“We hope that the Government will look into our plight.

“We just cannot survive anymore,” he said.

“The oil and gas depot is a mega project under the state government and the Federal Government,” Azalina said.

“I am sure that through discussions, we will come up with a solution that will benefit both sides.”