PASIR GUDANG: Property developers involved in coastal and riverine projects in Johor have been urged to adhere to a regulation that requires them to pay a 30 Sen contribution for each square foot of reclaimed land as the funds will go into the welfare of the affected fishermen.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the contribution from developers would become part of the Johor Fishermen Development Fund.

The fund is aimed at improving the lot of fishermen by helping them move up the value chain in the fisheries sector.

Khaled said property developers must be involved when it comes to maintaining the welfare of fishermen, especially for those who were directly affected by their development projects.

"The state government has imposed this collection for the fund. It is 30 Sen for each square foot and it's not a big amount, so it will not be a burden for the developers," he said after handing out cash aid to fishermen in the Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituency at the Taman Mawar multipurpose hall, here yesterday. The regulation began earlier this year.

Khaled said the state government has provided RM10million advance for the Johor Fishermen Development Fund, and this has allowed it to hand out aid to 1,509 recipients who comprise fishermen, mussel cultivator and fish cage breeders state-wide.

"The state government has agreed to give out a RM1,000 aid to fishermen who are active in the southern region as there are reclamation works being done in the southern region," he said, adding the aid was part of the promises in the 2015 Budget.

On a related matter, Khaled said fishermen needed to undergo transformative process and look into new ways to improve their yield.

"This is why there is a transformation plan especially for fishermen. Cash aid is not enough for this sector as one needs to think of benefits in the long term," he said.

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