SAM Urges Authorities To Address Problems Faced By Teluk Bahang Coastal Fishers

PENANG: Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Penang state government and local authority to investigate and take immediate action to address the problems faced by the Teluk Bahang coastal fishers here.

In a survey conducted by SAM after receiving complaints from the fishermen, we found that the pollution from concrete wastes on coastal and marine areas here was severe and endangered the fishermen. The rocks and piles found in this area can cause injuries not only to fishermen but also to the public who frequent this area.

The pile of waste on the seashore also causes fishing boats to be exposed to strong waves and damage them while moored in the area. On 22 December 2017, SAM sent letters to the relevant government department and agencies highlighting the issue faced by the fishermen here but until now no effective action has been taken.

Among the Federal and State agencies that SAM had written letters to are the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Fisheries Department, Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia, Penang government, Penang Island City Council, Penang State EXCO for Local Government and the Public Complaints Bureau.

SAM is disappointed that although the problem has dragged on for more than seven years, but until now no firm action has been taken on the party that caused the problem. SAM is worried that if this problem is left unresolved, the situation will become worse.  Not only the surrounding environment will be threatened more seriously in the future but the safety of fishermen will be put in jeopardy too.

Therefore, SAM hopes that the government will investigate the problem faced by the fishermen here and take legal action against those who are found to have violated the laws and regulations contained therein in order to resolve the matter.

SAM, JARING and the affected coastal fishermen will continue to voice our protests and launch a signature campaign if the problem persists and the government fails to overcome the problem.

Media Statement, 10 January 2018