Masing: Set up guidelines at HEP lakes throughout Sarawak to prevent overfishing

Masing on a two-day trip to Bakun HEP Lake recently.

KUCHING, Feb 28: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing calls on relevant authorities to set guidelines to prevent overfishing in man-made lakes throughout Sarawak to ensure sustainability.

He said that such measure would not only help to conserve fresh water ecosystem, but also provides better livelihood for the people living within the vicinity of the lake areas.

“From observing the ways Bakun fisherman catch their fish without any regard to the size of the fish, I believe in less than 10 years, Bakun Lake will be deprived of merchantable fish unless the government implements rules and regulations to prevent overfishing.

“I would like to make the following suggestions to prevent overfishing activities and to ensure the future livelihood of Bakun residents on the bounty of Bakun and other man-made lakes in the state,” he said in a press statement today after a two-day visit to Bakun Lake.

The floating jelatong on the Bakun Lake.

Masing pointed that the Sarawak government is duty-bound to protect the interests of those who had sacrificed to allow those living outside Bakun Lake area enjoying electricity and comfort.

He also lined up four key guidelines for preservation. Firstly, stopping the use of fish less than 2.5 inches for fishing in all man-made lakes like Bakun, Batang Ai, and future Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP).

Secondly, only residents in lake areas are allowed to fish and thirdly, other fishing methods other than the traditional fishing methods shall be made illegal, and lastly, the government must provide subsidy to Bakun residents who are involved in making fish cages.

“These suggestions should be implemented as soon as possible to prevent Batang Ai HEP experience from being repeated,” he added.

Caption: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing during his two-days visit to Bakun Lake recently. — DayakDaily