KOTA KINABALU: Fishing trawlers operators in the state are reminded to stick to the conditions stipulated in their licenses or face the consequences of their action.
Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) district director, First Maritime Admiral Adam Aziz, issued the stern warning following the detention of four fishing trawlers that had been found violating the conditions of their licenses on Friday.
Adam said the four trawlers were found fishing less than three nautical miles from the shores in Papar and Tuaran respectively on Friday night.
“MMEA’s patrol boats on special patrol came across the four trawlers between 11 pm to 11.50 pm on Friday. The 20 crew members on board the vessels were aged between 23 and 53 years old. They comprised a local, three Filipinos and 16 Indonesians,” he said.
Adam added that the boats were in violation of a condition of their licence issued under the Fisheries Act 1985 that states no fishing in areas less than three nautical miles from the shore.
“The boats, crew and their catch weighing about 270 kg have been taken to the MMEA jetty in Sepanggar for further investigations,” he said.
“We know that coastal fishermen in Papar and Tuaran have been worried about fishing trawlers encroaching into their traditional fishing areas. MMEA will continue with operation against these trawlers and fishing boats that violate the conditions on their licences,” Adam stressed.