GEORGE TOWN: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) is evaluating proposals to establish collaboration between the government and private sectors to upgrade the tuna landing port in an effort to develop the country’s tuna industry
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the collaboration between the government and private sectors is important to ensure the tuna industry in Malaysia can benefit all parties, in addition to attracting more foreign direct investment.
“The benefits to be gained are not only limited to tuna fishing activities but various other services along the value chain of the tuna industry can be developed such as ports, transportation, storage, processing and others.
“The tuna fishing industry in Malaysia is growing and developing as one of the country’s new sources of wealth,” he told reporters after the launching ceremony of Ibu Wira 1, a Zone C3 tuna fishing vessel carrying the Malaysian flag here today.
He said that in 2016, the Department of Fisheries Malaysia has listed two ports in the country as tuna landing ports for vessels operating in the Indian Ocean namely Penang Port and Langkawi Port.
However, he said both ports are less competitive compared to ports in other countries and the government is evaluating the industry needs in term of facilities as well as how the downstream industries could be created
He said the proposed development of a tuna landing port, especially at Batu Maung Jetty, would be in line with MAFI’s intention to increase the entry of tuna vessels into the port and at the same time boost tuna landings in Malaysia.
“Until 2020, a total of 19 tuna fishing vessels and a tuna carrier vessel have been licensed and operating in the Indian Ocean with a total catch of 3,005.13 tonnes worth RM40 million.
“Of the total tuna landing, the Penang Port records a landing of 1,943.84 tonnes worth RM28 million,” he added. — Bernama