Malaysia losses whopping RM4.25 billion yearly from illegal fishing
SHAH ALAM - Malaysia losses up to RM4.25 billion every year due to illegal fishing, said Malaysian Fisheries Department Director General Mohd Sufian Sulaiman.
He said one of the ways to deal with the problem was to amend the Fisheries Act 1985 (2019) to increase fines from RM1 million to RM6 million.
"The department has also implemented Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and QR codes to identify local fishing vessels," he told Sinar Harian on Friday.
He said the department also carries out joint enforcement with the maritime and cops. Op Naga was also activated in May 2019 under the Joint Enforcement Committee of the Maritime-led Special Task Force.
"The department has suggested that the government use other legal provisions to curb the problem as aggression in Malaysian waters and borders is an issue of national sovereignty that needs to be addressed by all parties," he said.
Sinar Harian last Wednesday revealed that since 2006, Maritime Malaysia has successfully detained 1,600 foreign fishing boats that were detected trespassing and catching fish in national waters.
Maritime Malaysia Director General Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som revealed that foreign fishermen are now becoming bolder and more aggressive to ensure that they are not arrested and that their catch is not confiscated.
Among the actions carried out by foreign fishermen are splashing oil on the deck of the boat to stop enforcement boats from coming near, throwing molotov cocktails and iron which delays enforcement.