Vetting process for Zone ‘A’ fishermen gives opportunity for new licence applicants – Ahmad

KOTA TINGGI, Oct 9 — A vetting process for Zone A fishermen will be done if there are fishermen who are no longer active in carrying out fishing, thus providing an opportunity for new applications.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister I (MAFI) Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said this will be conducted after the Fisheries Department received about 16,000 applications for licences from fishermen.

He said the vetting process would also be done if licensees did not renew their licences within three years.

“We also need to estimate the number of catches (of fish) done by the existing fishermen in order to give out a licence.

“Before that, we did vetting, which means fishermen who are no longer active will have their licences revoked. So if there is a vacancy, we will give that (another) person (fisherman) a chance,” he said at a press conference after visiting the Kampung Sedili Kechil jetty and presenting a MAFI Prihatin contribution, here, today.

Ahmad said this when asked to comment on the number of coastal fishermen who do not have licences.

He said the issuance of a licence was also based on a study conducted by the department, including the density of fish in Zone A, which is five nautical miles from the coast.

“However, it was found that the density of fish had decreased a lot, that is why fishing cannot be done. If done, it can cause habitat destruction,” he said.

For the record, the issuance of fishing licences for coastal marine fisheries including Zone A coastal fishermen has long been frozen by the government to safeguard fishery resources.

Meanwhile, commenting on the threat of foreign fishermen, Ahmad said the arrival of foreign fishermen detected in the country was in the East Coast area because the location is rich in fishery resources, however, the enforcement authorities are always keeping an active surveillance.

When asked whether Johor would receive a large allocation from Budget 2022, he said the allocation was according to need and demand.

He added that the current need was to ensure that the food supply was always sufficient.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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