Chukai Fishers Problem Must Be Addressed Immediately

The dilapidated bridge in Chukai has not been repaired.
Fish traps are often damaged after being hit by trawler boats.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Terengganu government, relevant departments and agencies to take immediate action to address the problem faced by 200 inshore fishers in Chukai, Kemaman district.

For the past ten years the fishers had to put up with a damaged jetty to moor their boats and land their catch. In addition, fishermen in the area are often threatened by trawlers and many of them lamented that they have not received the monthly incentive of RM300.00. SAM is dismayed that although the problems are long-standing but until now no action has been taken by the relevant authorities to resolve the fishers predicaments.

Last May SAM had written to the Terengganu State Secretary, Kemaman District Office, Fisheries Department and Eastern Region Public Complaints Bureau, bringing to their attention the condition of the jetty which is dilapidated and thus request the authorities to investigate and do the needful to address the problem.

SAM had also forwarded the matter to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry and Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

SAM’s latest visit on 10 August 2016 found that the jetty has yet to be repaired properly and fishers are cautious when using the jetty because it is risky and threatens their safety.

Fishers here also complained to SAM that their fish trap (bubu) are often damaged and destroyed due to being hit by trawler boats from Kuantan operating in waters off Kemaman at night.  The trawler problem has not only caused the fishers to suffer huge losses but fisheries resource is also dwindling.

SAM also received complaints that many of the fishers in this area did not get the monthly incentive of RM300 since three years ago. The affected fishers appealed to the responsible authority to investigate the reason they are being deprived of the incentive.

SAM sympathizes with the affected fishers and hope that immediate action will be taken by the authorities to resolve their problems. SAM believes fishermen living in the area will be worse affected if these problems persist and are not resolved effectively.

Press Statement, 19 August 2016