CAP supports the disposal of illegal drag nets

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the government to take stringent action to eliminate the activities of drag net (pukat rawa sorong) boats which is banned in this country.

According to the Fisheries Act 1985, those found guilty of violating the regulations promulgated under this act will be liable to a fine of RM20,000.00 or two years imprisonment or both.

Besides violating the law, the activities of these drag net boats also threaten breeding ground of marine life and jeopardize the livelihood of coastal fishermen.

Commenting on action taken by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) at the Kuala Kurau base in Perak where the boats were disposed recently, CAP expressed its support of such action as it can ensure conservation of marine resources and marine food security for the people of this country.

CAP hopes that more boats that use banned fishing gears and violate Fisheries law will be seized and the offenders charged in Court so that this problem can be dealt with effectively.

Similar measures need to be taken in other states because CAP finds that it is not only occurring in Perak but also in Kedah and Perlis.

The use of drag nets started in Thailand but was banned by the Thai government because it was damaging the country’s marine ecosystem and causing extinction of fishery resources in the waters of the country.

CAP understands that in 2014 there were 195 drag net boats operating in the waters of Kedah and Perlis. These boats were based in 16 jetties, from Kuala Sungai Baru in Perlis to Tanjung Dawai, Kedah.

Hence, CAP urges the Department of Fisheries of Kedah and Perlis to conduct investigations at those jetties and seize all the drag net boats found here. CAP believes this method will be more effective in the government’s effort to eliminate the use of banned fishing gears.

Press Statement, 7th May 2015