By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 8: Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Jamilah Anu has proposed for the Sarawak government to take over the registration and licensing of coastal fishermen across the state.
She pointed out that only 30 per cent of the fishermen in her area were registered currently and able to enjoy the assistance given by Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM).
“For N3 Tanjong Datu, there are about 1,300 coastal fishermen registered with Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Sematan but, only about 400 of them are licensed by the Fisheries Department.
“This means that only those who have the license will receive cost of living assistance (Cola) and other assistance from LKIM,” she said when debating on the 2020 Sarawak Budget at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting today.
While much effort have been made to get eligible members of the association to be licensed by the Fisheries Department, Jamilah however said that the applicants were informed that the applications for this license have been closed.
“No new licenses are issued. This means that those who are eligible will not be able to enjoy the full support of LKIM, a federal government agency,” she added.
Apart from that, she said various fisheries assistance have been reduced since the Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the federal government.
She thus expressed appreciation to the Sarawak government which has proposed to provide RM300 cash aid for each fisherman during the monsoon season.
“In addition, they are also eligible for assistance in purchasing fishing equipment,” she said.
Jamilah reiterated that not just her area but throughout the state of Sarawak, the number of licensed fishermen was only 30 per cent.
“Therefore, I think it is timely for the state government to take over the registration and licensing of coastal fishermen across the state so that the state government has data collection on these coastal fishermen to facilitate strategic planning while preserving the welfare of this group.
“To begin with, District Offices may be responsible for implementing this registration and licensing,” she suggested.— DayakDaily