Tuesday, September 27

Foreigners using bombs to fish in Miri, claim locals


MIRI: Suluk and Bajau fishermen are said to be  using illegal bombing techniques to fish at several spots here in the last few months.

Local fisherman Kambri Bakar, 40, told The Borneo Post yesterday that besides waters off Miri, the areas hit were Kuala Baram and Tukau.

Another local fisherman, who wished to be known as ‘Akong’, said the foreigners, believed to have come here from Sabah, had also been using this strategy in Batu Salam off Luak water, Batu 14, Bokor, Betty and Lang in offshore Miri.

Kambri and Akong urged the government to act as fish bombing would affect marine life and local fishermen’s livelihood adversely.

Kambri said he was told the Suluk and Bajau fishermen were squatting near Pujut 7 bridge, Piasau bridge, and in Kampung Piasau Utara.

“We (local fishermen) are frustrated because these foreigners are catching fish here openly and yet agencies such as the Maritime Agency are not doing anything.

“In fact, sometimes the agency stopped local fishing boats and check their licences, but they seemed to keep their eyes closed on foreign fishing boats.”

Kambri hoped the agency and elected representative resolve this problem quickly.

Akong also appealed for help as this illegal form of fishing had jeopardised his livelihood.

“Please take action against these culprits. They are jeopardising marine lives and ours too,” said Akong.

Meanwhile, local environmentalist Susan Foster, 37, said anyone found in possession of a bullet would face a death penalty, but nothing is being done to these foreign fishermen who were literally throwing bombs here and there.

“Action must be taken immediately to nab the culprits,” she said.