KUALA LUMPUR: More than 300 fishermen from the east coast protested outside the Parliament building here today, claiming there has been abuse of fishing licences by locals who rent them out to third parties who, in turn, pass them to foreigners.
They said many foreign fishermen with local licences are encroaching on inshore areas, affecting the livelihoods of coastal fishermen.
In a memorandum handed over to the government, they also claimed that the licences are used to buy fishing boats from other countries, which directly impacts the traditional boat-making industry in the east coast.
“The granting of deep sea boat licences to local entrepreneurs has been misused for easy and short-term gains through cooperation with foreign boat owners,” the memorandum said.
“Local fishermen who are mostly from the poor community are negatively affected.”
Nik Mohd Kamal Husin, representing the fishermen in Kelantan, urged the government to look into their problems, especially the encroachment of Vietnamese fishermen into their waters.
He said the situation in the east coast had worsened since the government allowed the employment of Vietnamese crew members on deep sea fishing boats.