SEMATAN: The placement of artificial reefs in the sea will help local fishermen to generate more incomes from their catches as the rocks will home to a number of marine species.
“This project has been implemented way back until now and we have seen an improvement to the local fishermen’s socioeconomic status which has positively impacted their lives.
“The artificial reefs will also prevent illegal fishing activities at sea,” said Tanjung Datu branch deputy chief, Abu Seman Karim.
He represented Tanjung Datu assemblyman, Azizul Annuar Adenan in officiating at the Artificial Reef Programme at the Marine Fisheries Department Sarawak today (June 25).
Eighteen artificial reefs costing RM387,000 will be dropped between five and 20 nautical miles off the coast of Sarawak.
Marine Fisheries Department Sarawak deputy director, Liza Long said that the Fishery Research Institute (FRI) had conducted a scientific research on the effects of the artificial rocks in the sea.
“According to their research, the result was positive as it has become home to a number of fish species.
“The reefs have also become a breeding ground for the fish. This also means that fishermen in Sematan will generate more incomes.”
She said, for example, fishermen in a village in Lawas were able to catch more fish – at around seven tons – which were worth RM106,000.
She added that fishermen around Lawas were reported to have more incomes from their catches worth between RM10,000 and RM20,000.
“We have also implemented a research together with UiTM a while back to study the socioeconomic status of local fishermen.
“With the artificial reefs, we have found that there is a 25 per cent increase of the fishermen’s incomes.
“Hence, we have continued this project because it helps the local fishermen to improve their livelihoods,” Liza told a press conference yesterday.
Abu Seman encouraged the department to continue its efforts to improve the lives of the fishermen here and to conserve the marine lives at sea..
“We would like to see done throughout the whole of Sarawak so that it will guarantee the safety of the fishermen’s incomes as they are active in going to sea to catch fish.
“I hope in the future, with new technologies and innovations, the project will continue for the sake of our local fishermen here.
“I am sure Tanjung Datu assemblyman Azizul will give priority to it to help the people in his constituency.”