TAWAU – The Sabah Fisheries and Fishing Boats Joint Association has proposed that one or two security personnel be deployed on at least 30 per cent of the fishing vessels operating at sea.
Its chairman, Arsani Arsat said the proposal was to guarantee the safety of the fishermen.
“We know that they can’t deploy personnel in each boat, we just ask for 30 per cent out of 300 boats in Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna, which are often targeted by cross-border criminals lately,” he told reporters here Friday.
He said the proposal was in line with the aim of reducing cross-border crimes following the deployment of security personnel at tourist spots in east coast of Sabah.
“Following the frequent kidnappings in Lahad Datu and Semporna, crew members are afraid to go out to sea, thus affecting the fishing industry in the east coast of Sabah,” he said.
Arsani said the fishing industry in Kunak had plummeted when 60 boats refused to fish as the crew members, mostly Indonesians, were afraid of the kidnapping incidents which targeted fishermen.
On the Automatic Identification System (AIS), he said the association had ordered 200 of the tracking equipment from a supplier to be installed on vessels operating from Tawau and Sandakan.
“Half of the number ordered are expected to be installed this October,” he said.