30 minutes for Sabah MMEA to mobilise assets

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) needs 30 minutes after receiving a complaint to mobilise its assets to tackle illegal fishing in Sabah waters.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (pix) said everyday, about 22 patrol boats would be operating in the Sabah Maritime Region to ensure that it is under control and peaceful.

"Fishermen are also urged to report to the authorities if there are illegal fishing activities using trawler nets, cyanide and fish bombs which could destroy the permanent marine habitat," he said when replying to an oral question from Wong Tien Fatt@Wong Nyuk Foh (DAP-Sandakan) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

His reply was read out by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Shahidan said from 2012 to 2016, there were 629 cases of violation against the Fisheries Act 1985 such as the use of illegal fishing equipment were investigated with a total compound of RM202,000 collected.

He said the MMEA also collaborated with the Sabah Fisheries Department to set up enforcement units in four main bases, namely Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Penyu, Sandakan and Tawau. — Bernama