SIBU (Sept 28): The Fisheries Department would deploy 60 additional units of anti-trawling artificial reefs into the Tanjung Sirik waters off Pulau Bruit in Daro.
According to Assistant Minister in Chief Minister’s Department – Corporate Affairs and Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Abdullah Saidol, these artificial reefs would supplement the 50 units planted back in 2019 off Pulau Bruit, which is the largest fishing settlement in the state’s central zone.
He said this latest undertaking took about four months to reach completion.
“The whole project did face a slight delay due to Covid-19. Our thanks to the Fisheries Department for ensuring smooth deployment of the artificial reefs in Tanjung Sirik.
“We appreciate this initiative, which was funded using a RM20-million allocation from the federal government.
“The cost to deploy 60 units of artificial reefs into Tanjung Sirik was about RM890,000,” he told reporters when met after the launch of the artificial reefs yesterday.
It is informed that the artificial reefs deployed under this latest project, supervised by the Fisheries Department of Sarawak and Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak, are larger than those commissioned by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).
Adding on, Abdullah said the reef ball deployment project, costing an overall RM70 million, was kicked off in 2018 and should reach completion within this year.
“Up to now, the SFC has successfully deployed 600 units of artificial reefs in Belawai-Paloh waters, 600 units in Lawas waters, 1,200 units in Igan-Mukah waters, 1,200 units in Muara Tebas-Sebuyau waters, 660 units in Pulau Bruit-Igan waters, and 1,100 in Sampadi-Tanjung Datu waters.
“These areas, as a whole, are touted as housing the longest artificial reef ball project in the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fisheries Department Sarawak director Bohari Leng said the artificial reefs would serve to prevent the encroachment of fishing trawlers into the local waters, apart from becoming new habitats for fish and other marine life; thus, increasing the resources of coastal fisheries.
“Also, the project would increase the number of coastal fishermen.
“The department also supports the development of recreational fishing because large and small fish colonies are usually found in and around areas where the reefs are.
“Additionally, turning these reefs into recreational fishing spots would provide a stable growing area for corals,” he added.