— The Terengganu Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has disposed off nine seized foreign boats as artificial reefs at Pulau Susu Dara waters, here, today.
Its director Captain Maritime Muhammad Suffi Mohd Ramli said the boats belonged to Vietnamese fishermen who were stripped of their rights (to the boats) for encroaching and catching fish in the country’s water between 2018 and 2019.
“The artificial reefs were named as ‘Tukun Segantang’ to commemorate the services of KM Segantang which is the oldest MMEA vessel, that aided in the capture of 80 foreign fishermen’s boats from 2015 to date,” he told reporters after witnessing the disposal of the boats.
Also present was Terengganu Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim.
Muhammmad Suffi said it is hoped the artificial reefs would help preserve and encourage marine biodiversity and proves the agency’s commitment in curbing foreign fishermen in the country’s waters.
“The artificial reefs, submerged at the border of Kelantan and Terengganu waters, are aimed at encouraging recreational fishing activities for class A fishermen’s boats.
“Research done with Southeast Asia Marine Resources Institute (ISMAT) also found that the location, at 25-metre depth and 9.4 kilometres from Kuala Besut, was suitable for its rich marine sources,” he said, adding that to date MMEA had sunk 155 foreign fishing vessels in Terengganu waters since 2006.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency