Ministry’s plans to improve fishermen’s catch in Kota Marudu



KOTA KINABALU (Apr 23): The State Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry has set short-term and long-term plans to improve the declining fishermen’s catch in Kota Marudu caused by unpredictable weather conditions.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, said among the short-term strategies implemented is the provision of diesel and petrol subsidies to enable fishermen to get a subsidised oil purchase price, further encouraging them to carry out fishing activities in new areas with a large fish population.

He said the Sabah Fisheries Department also implements control in fishing methods through the issuance of fishing licenses and monitoring on fishermen operating in the area.

In addition, Jeffrey said his ministry through Ko-Nelayan also provides micro credit financing through the Fishermen Assistance Scheme (i-Nelayan) to help increase the catch of fishermen in Kota Marudu.

“Since 2021 until now, a total of 12 fishermen in Kota Marudu and 29 fishermen in Pitas and Banggi Island have joined i-Nelayan.

“This financing programme has succeeded in increasing the income of the fishermen involved at least 30 percent,” he said in a question-and-answer session during the State Assembly sitting here on Tuesday.

Jeffrey was responding to Bandau assemblyman Datuk Wetrom Bahanda who inquired the government’s long-term and short-term efforts to help fishermen in Kota Marudu who have been experiencing less catch.

For long-term strategies, he said his ministry through the Sabah Fisheries Department is implementing the Marine Fisheries Development and Service Programme which delivers the latest related information and offers various services, advice, courses and training to fishermen.

He said the Demersal fisheries resource conservation and the fisheries resource development and management projects are also implemented through the construction of artificial reefs throughout the state to increase the biological productivity of environmental waters.

“So far, a total of 1,910 artificial reefs have been placed in 88 locations across the state of Sabah since 2008.

“With the increase in biological productivity in the locations, it is hoped that the fishermen will enjoy increased fish catch,” he said.