KOTA KINABALU, July 7 — Stern actions should be taken including imposing stiff penalty on fishermen found using the bombing method to fish in Sabah waters, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said.
He said the use of the fish bombs in the state has been going on for quite a while, hence, stern actions must be taken to combat such activities.
“Such actions must be taken against any party involved in the practice of fish bombing. As the Semporna MP, I have repeatedly been voicing out on this subject matter, on how (steps) to overcome it.
“This fish bombing practice must be curbed, including by imposing heavy penalties on the perpetrators,” he told reporters after the 2019 Petronas Education Sponsorship programme here today.
Mohd Shafie said this in response to an incident which killed two foreign tourists and a local resident while diving near Kulapuan Island, Semporna on Friday.
In the incident at between 4pm and 6pm on Friday, the three victims were diving in Semporna waters before being hit by a fish bomb thrown by a perpetrator near the location of the dive.
Mohd Shafie said the use of fish bombs must be banned, and there should be further investigations on how fishermen obtain explosives to make the fish bombs in order to concretely solve the problem.
He also asked the local residents to cooperate with the authorities if they have information on fishermen practising fish bombing.
According to him, the fish bombing method does not benefit anyone in the long run as it affects the marine ecosystem and human health.
“This is because fish bombs contain poison, the fish (caught using this method) will be poisoned and when we eat the fish and it would lead to all sorts of illnesses,” he explained.
Mohd Shafie also said the use of boat pumps among fishermen is not a major contributor to fish bombing because pump boat is just a piece of equipment for the group to catch the marine product. — Bernama