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PGM keeping close watch on shorelines for illegal fishing

PGM keeping close watch on shorelines for illegal fishing
27th February, 2011

SANDAKAN: The marine operations force (PGM) is keeping a close watch on the waters hear the shorelines after local trawlers were found fishing illegally.

On Friday, 10 trawlers were caught making catches in the Labuk Bay waters, about three nautical miles from shore. District PGM acting chief, ASP Muhammad Sallam Spawi said the area was a no-go zone for fishermen.

“This is our biggest catch against local trawlers,” he said of the success of its operation codenamed ‘Octopus’.

According to him, the trawlers were detained at about 11.40am and some 140kg of fish and 410kg of prawns were onboard the vessels.

The 24 crew who are locals were also detained to have their statement taken.

Muhammad Sallam said that no trawling is allowed in waters where the depth is 10 metres.

He also said that the force has recorded 22 such cases so far this year.

They are expected to be charged in court under Section 8(b) of the Fisheries Act where a compound fine of RM500 for first offence and RM1,000 fine for the second offence can be slapped. The operators can also see their boats confiscated.

Last Wednesday, Four Indonesians found without a valid travel documents and work permits were among 12 boat crew members detained Monday for committing various maritime offences.

A team from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a tugboat, a dumb barge and its crew members at about 11am off Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) waters.

The MMEA raiding team had acted on complaints from local traditional fishermen that the boat crew members had obstructed the fishermen from fishing in the area.

Investigations showed that the tugboat had been illegally renamed Danum 99 when it was officially registered under Meranti 33.