KUALA LUMPUR, 8 June – The Malaysian government has allocated RM150 million under the Food Security Fund (DJM) and provided soft loans for the transformation of fishermen through the acquisition of modern high-tech vessels.
The Department of Fisheries Malaysia said the assistance was for the development of the coastal fisheries industry through a vessel modernisation programme, encouraging the use of environmentally-friendly equipment and improving the fishing tools and efficiency of vessels in Zone A and Zone B.
“It opens up opportunities for traditional fishermen in Zone A and Zone B to upgrade and modernise their vessels, mechanisation, more efficient fishing equipment and be resource-friendly.
“It also improves the safety aspect and improves the quality of the catch. It directly increases the income of fishermen at Zone A and B,” it said in a statement issued in conjunction with the World Oceans Day celebration today.
The department said the assistance also encouraged vessels to operate in more remote zones, modification of vessels and procurement of new engines.
The statement said that Malaysia as one of the countries that had signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was required to ensure that 10 per cent of the country’s waters were made into Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020.
To date, the total area of waters managed by the department is 2,486.13 square kilometres (km2) while the total MPA for Malaysia is 2,631.8093 km2.
With the MPAs, it said Malaysia will achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDGs), especially goals 14.1, 14.2 and 14.5, namely Life Below Water under the SDGs.
“The achievement of the SDGs will further ensure the sustainability of food security from marine sources in addition to other marine life such as coral reefs,” it added. — Bernama