Fishing towns for Malaysia in 12th Malaysia Plan

KUANTAN: The government plans to create fishing towns at two or three fishing landing jetties nationwide, including in Kuantan, in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (pix) said the fishing towns would provide added value to fishermen's wharfs, especially in terms of tourism, such as witnessed in San Francisco, in the United States.

Citing the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) Fish Landing Complex in Kuantan as an example, Ahmad Shabery said the location was suitable for development as it was located near to the city and had the fifth highest volume for fish landing.

"I will ask LKIM to submit the fishing town concept to be included in 12MP and view potential locations that are near to cities, for the convenience of visitors.

"When tourists come to the fishing towns, they will get to enjoy fresh seafood, buy quality fish food as well as fishing equipment or boats," he said after attending a gathering with fishermen at the LKIM Complex here today.

The event was also attended by LKIM director-general M Saedon Ab Majid, Fisheries Department director-general Datuk Munir Mohd Nawi and Pahang State Rural Development, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif.

During the event, Ahmad Shabery also announced an allocation of RM1.73 million for the upgrading of the fishing infrastructure at LKIM complexes and Balok Fishermen's Market here, the construction of a new fishermen's market in Tanjung Agas, Pekan and artificial reef in waters off Pahang.

He added, the state contributed 120,417.58 metric tonnes from 381,260 marine fish landings in Malaysia, with an increase of 7.4 per cent in 2016, compared to the year before.

"I hope this increasing trend will continue, reaching 10% by 2020.

As such, the government has allocated RM300,000 for the building of the reefs that would benefit 1,300 fishermen in Pahang," said Ahmad Shabery, adding that the government was always concerned for the well-being of fishermen who are crucial to the country's fishing industry. — Bernama