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Fishermen Demand Aquacultural Funds And Land

MALAYSIA - The Muar-Batu Pahat Fishermen's Association is urging the Johor government to allocate more funds and land for aquaculture.

This is in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak call for proposals from the public for next year's national budget.

Association president Ser Boon Huat said Johor was blessed with a rich natural environment that was suitable for the breeding of fish, prawns, oysters, cockles, mussels, snails and other marine food sources.

He said fishermen had limited fishing areas in the Straits of Malacca, reports New Straits Times.

Prime Minister Ser said many marine creatures would become extinct if the government did not stop the destruction of mangrove forests and pollution in the straits.

"Because of the shortage of fish, fishermen are keen to diversify their sources of income by practising aquaculture at the shoreline and coastal fringes.

"However, they cannot do so because there is a lack of land designated for aquaculture and financial support from the government."

Prime Minister Ser said the RM200 monthly assistance for licensed fishermen should be reviewed as boat owners had to pay for fuel, and their workers' wages and meals.

He also urged the authorities to allow fishing boats to go out to sea without the owners.

He said crew members currently could not make any money when boat owners fall sick.

Prime Minister Ser said the process of transferring the ownership of fishing boats should be sped up because it was taking about a year to get approvals.

He also urged the authorities to allow the transfer of kelong ownership.

Ser added that fishermen should be allowed to hire foreign workers, especially from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam.

the Fish Site Editor

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