The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is upset that the mangrove forests in Penang continue to be felled although there have been many protests especially by fisher communities whose livelihood is threatened following the implementation of development projects here.
Recently an area of 9.38 hectares of mangroves in Bagan Jermal has been reportedly destroyed to make way for a reclamation project in this area. This incident clearly shows that the Penang state government is not serious in protecting the environment and the lives of the people, particularly the fisher community in the State.
Commenting on an article published in Utusan Malaysia (10 February 2017) regarding a call made to the State Government by the Tanjung Tokong Fishermen’s Association to clarify the felling of the mangroves here that will impact them in the near future, CAP views that the mangroves here should have been gazetted as Permanent Reserved Forest to protect this natural treasure that is being threatened with extinction in some of our coastal areas.
CAP’s surveys in the past reveal that hundreds of hectares of mangroves in the State have been destroyed over the years for the purpose of development and aquaculture projects, threatening the source of income of thousands of fishermen in the state because the breeding and nursing grounds of marine life and natural coastal areas have been destroyed for development, besides being threatened by pollution.
CAP hopes that the developer of the project will take immediate action to replant the mangrove trees that have been felled to enable rejuvenation of the area and revive fisheries stock here for the sake of the fishermen, future generation and the environment.
The reclamation project for the development of Seri Tanjung Pinang 2 has and will bring more problems for the local fishers as their fishing area will diminish soon. Their problem is aggravated with the destruction of mangroves here and the livelihood of the fishermen will be adversely affected.
What is the main objective of the State Government, is it to champion the plight of the fishermen or to forsake them in the name of development?
Media Statement, 10th February 2017