BINTULU: Most fishermen now are aged 50 and above.
Thus, it is a good opportunity for young people to be involved in the fisheries sector, Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) state deputy director Azrin Shah Ismail said.
“Without the involvement and support from the young people, the country might be facing difficulty to get sufficient supply of fish for the domestic market,” he added.
With a few young men showing interest in becoming fishermen, he feared that the country would have to resort to using foreign manpower.
He was speaking during the presentation of monthly allowances to 383 members of Bintulu Fishermen Association (PNK) at Bintulu Civic Centre yesterday.
According to him, fishermen in the country were fortunate because the government provided them with various incentives and assistance to help them improve their livelihood.
“The incentives are also to encourage them to be real fishermen.
“I hope this tradition will be continued by our young generation. If there are no locals willing to become fishermen, outsiders will have take over the job and it is a waste for the country and not good for our fisheries industry,” said Azrin.
He assured that LKIM would continue to assist local fishermen through various courses and programmes so that they can be more competitive.
He cited the fishermen market introduced by LKIM as an example of how the government helps local fishermen earn more profits without relying on middlemen to sell their products.
Earlier, PNK Bintulu chairman Jumat Berahim requested the relevant agency to upgrade the temporary Kidurong fishermen market into a permanent site.
“I also would like to request for some allocation to upgrade this market with other public facilities like water supply and toilet for the convenience of the fishermen community in Bintulu,” he said.
Bintulu MP’s political secretary Zaiedy Nor Abu Nassir officiated at the opening ceremony of Pasar Nelayan Pantai ABF Kidurong.