MUKAH: Volunteers here mull setting up a crocodile hunters group to facilitate proper hunting of the reptiles in Batang Oya.
Dalat and Mukah District Council (MDDM) councillor Arini Suhaili said interested individuals who wished to join the group must own a rifle and shooting licence.
“With the establishment of the group, permit for hunting and sale of crocodile skin and meat can be applied for and issued,” he told Suara Sarawak recently.
Arini explained that the idea of setting up such a group came about following several cases of crocodile attacks in Batang Oya.
“The team will facilitate orderly crocodile hunting activities to be carried out to prevent more local residents from becoming victims to croc attacks.
“Subsequently, we hope to ensure the river is safe for the local community to carry out activities be it for domestic or economic purposes,” he added.
For more information, interested individuals can contact Arini at 013-8829310.
Within the last five years, crocodile attacks had claimed three lives in Oya with the latest on March 6.
“Efforts to hunt these wild predators must be carried out. I have suggested several hunting methods to Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) including ‘pukat pari’ (ray-net) apart from the usual ways such as shooting or baited hooks.
“Together with Oya Fishing Community, we are ready to cooperate with and offer assistance to the SFC in conducting operations upon permission by the latter,” he elaborated.
Arini also hoped the State Agriculture Department through its Inland Fisheries Division would open up opportunities for inland fishermen to register for Insurance Protection Scheme enjoyed by the coastal fishermen under the Malaysian Fishery Development Board (LKIM) through Area Fishermen Association (PNK).
The scheme, he said, would at least take care of the welfare of the inland fishermen upon unwanted incidents when conducting fishing activities at the rivers.
Ironically, the three crocodile attack victims in Oya were all inland fishermen.