LAWAS: The fishing fraternity in Lawas wants the authorities to review strict regulations on licensing, which they claim affect the livelihood of fishermen in the district.
Deputy chairman of PBB Bukit Sari, Ali Akhbar of Kampung Awat-Awat said many risk losing their livelihood and income if the authorities insist on rigid licensing criteria.
He voiced this at a tree-planting ceremony in the village by Sarawak branch of Malaysian Girl Guides Association.
It was officiated by Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk
Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
Akhbar said in imposing the licensing regulations, the fisheries authorities failed to take into account the local situation affecting the income of fishing communities in Lawas, Punang and Kuala Lawas apart from Awat Awat.
“Right now, the department is not compromising on the strict regulation of specific licensing and many are affected,” he lamented.
He was commenting on the dilemma faced by fishermen who are slapped with regulations and barred from certain fishing activities without the licence.
Tengah advised them to appeal for a change of rules from the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) through Lawas Area Fishermen Association, and submit a copy of it to him.
“I believe rules should not be so rigid that they become a burden to fishermen,” he said.
Meanwhile Kampung Awat Awat welcomed the tree-planting exercise which complemented its increasingly active tourism industry.
Akhbar thanked Tengah for the significant flow of development projects in infrastructure and public amenities, saying this should be reciprocated by the people’s support for BN.
“Awat Awat will continue to be a BN fortress and we will give our support to our state assemblyman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah to reciprocate his many contributions and strong leadership,” he said.