KUCHING: The Miri Fishermen Association (MFA) has renewed calls for the authorities to revoke all licences issued to foreign fishermen.
Its chairman Jamali Basri said the association believed that the issuance of the licence has led to the encroachment of foreign fishing vessels into the country’s waters.
Jamali also did not discount the possibility of irresponsible quarters among the locals being in cahoots and helped the foreign fishermen to obtain licence from the Fisheries Department.
“We believed that there are people here who had helped foreign fishermen to register fishing boats from Vietnam and Thailand with the department.
“Instead of running the fishing operation, we believed that this group of people ‘rented’ the licence to the foreigners enabling them to encroach our waters.
“This must be stopped. Not only they are encroaching our territory but the foreign fishermen is stealing and depleting our resources,” he told the New Straits Times when contacted today.
Jamali said he feared that waters within the state’s territory would run out of fish and other marine resources if problems related to the encroachment of foreign fishermen was not addressed.
He said this was not the first time the association had made such calls. Earlier this year, he said, the MFA made a similar proposal as the association was also concern with the safety.
“We hope there would be an amicable solution to resolve this problem.
“And we also hope that the government would come out with a stricter requirement and better monitoring mechanism when issuing fishing license,” he said.