Malaysia: Fishery Resources May Become Extinct

Bernama 5 Dec 11;

KANGAR, Dec 5 (Bernama) - Fishery resources may become extinct if fishermen don't cooperate with the government to retain existing resources, said director-general of Fisheries Department Datuk Ahmad Sabki Mahmood.

He said in 40 years, fishery resources in Malaysian waters have declined significantly from 2.56 tonnes per sq km in 1971 to only 0.21 tonnes per sq km in 2007.

"However, ikan kembung is still in abundant but other wildlife species like dugong has depleted," he told reporters at a Marine Resources Management Care Programme in Kuala Sungai Baru near here today.

Sabki said the lack of fishery resources not affects Malaysian waters as researchers in United States predicted that by 2048, there would be no more fish in the ocean.

"That's the forecast in the United States but in Malaysia, the government constantly strives to ensure that the existing fishery resources are retained."

He said although fish can reproduce naturally, uncontrolled catch activities can lead to the extinction of marine life.

Excessive exploitation of breeding grounds like coastal areas and pollution due to industrial waste and oil spills also lead to decline in marine resources.

To this end, the government has introduced the Rakan Ikan programme where fishermen would inform information authorities of activities that could harm fishery resources.

Sabry said last year, 160,000 tonnes of fish worth RM710mil were landed in Perlis to make the state the second largest producer of fish after Perak.

However, catch in the last four years has declined between 2.3 percent and 10.2 percent, from 193,800 tonnes in 2007 to 160,000 tonnes in 2010.


No more fish by 2048?
Destructive techniques used by fishermen could wipe out marine resources
Sharanpal Singh Randhawa New Straits Times 6 Dec 11;

MALAYSIA'S waters could be left with zero marine resources if fishermen nationwide continue to make use of destructive ways and techniques to fish.

Fisheries Department director-general Datuk Ahamad Sabki Mahmood said research done by a team from the United States in international waters found that there would not be any fish or marine resources left by 2048.

He added that with the rapidly depleting marine resources caused by the destructive ways and techniques adopted by fisherman in Malaysia, it was not impossible for the country to face the same fate by 2048.

Local fishermen exploit fish breeding areas meant to boost fish population by using the pukat rawa sorong (drag nets) which are banned by the government.

The invasion of banned fishing zones by fishermen has also seen the fish population in the past 40 years declining rapidly, from 2.56 tonnes per sq km to 0.21 tonnes per sq km.

"Fish is known to breed naturally by themselves, but with the wrong and banned equipment used and without a systematic approach, marine resources will surely become extinct," he said at an awareness programme on marine resources held at Sungai Baru, near here, yesterday.

Ahamad Sabki said fishermen should be more responsible and aware that their actions would cost the government and the people in the long run.

"We have conducted and will go on conducting awareness programmes to educate fishermen on the best ways to fish and the best equipment to use."

He said the number of fishing boats in Malaysian waters was maintained at 47,000 and there were 129,000 fishermen nationwide.

Ahamad Sabki said the organisation Rakan Fish, whose members are fishermen, would play a role in reporting any misconduct or offences by fishermen.