KUALA PENYU: The fishing community here especially traditional ones will benefit from three jetties including a jetty complex that will enable them upload and sell their daily catch directly to consumers.
State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong said construction of the jetties was a promise by the State government for the people here although Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) did not win the Kimanis parliamentary by-election last month.
He said the jetties are among the wishes and requests of the people here and in Kg Binsulok which were voiced out to Warisan leaders during the by-election.
“We took note all the complaints and grouses of the grassroots here including from the fishermen community.
“We are a responsible State Government and will continue to serve the people by bringing physical development especially in elevating the living standard of the fishermen here by resolving their problems and to cater to their needs as well as fulfilling our promises to them although we lost in the Kimanis by-election,” he said.
Junz said this to reporters after a dialogue with the fishermen at Fishery department office here.
Also present were Fishery Department director Dr Ahemad Sade, Kuala Penyu Assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury, Ko-Nelayan Chairman Awang Sah Datuk Sahari, Sabah Rubber Industry Board (SRIB) Chairman Datuk John Ghani and other senior officials.
Junz said a RM6 million jetty complex will be built by his ministry via Ko-Nelayan at Kg Palu-Palu here starting next year, which has been approved by the State Action Council chaired by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
“The Ko-Nelayan jetty was initially provided during the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government but unfortunately it could not be used.
“Under the Warisan-led State Government, we will have to demolish the jetty but a new one would be built at a suitable site that suits the fishermen needs.
“There is a technical issue if the new jetty is to be constructed at the existing site which is owned by Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan (PNK) that has links with Malaysia Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM),” he said.
According to Junz, a small jetty that comes with a wet market facility for public use and cost RM50,000 to build will be constructed at Kg Binsulok soon for traditional fishermen to land their catch and thus reduce involvement of middlemen.
By doing so, he said the fishermen would be able to generate better income while villagers could purchase cheaper and fresh fish from them.
He said another small jetty that cost less than RM50,000 will also be built in Kg Binsulok as a facility for those who produce belacan (prawn paste) as the present jetty is dilapidated.
Junz assured that the two small jetties would be constructed soonest as possible.
In a related development, he said the government would be constructing between 150 and 200 artificial within a year from Kuala Penyu up to Papar area to create more habitation for the fishes and thus creating a sustainable source of fish for the fishermen especially traditional ones.
In three years’, he said there will be 300 to 520 artificial reefs that will protect the welfare and needs of the fishermen.
Furthermore, Junz said the artificial reefs would ward off trawlers as their fishing net would be damaged by the artificial reefs compared to artificial reefs built by local fishermen which are easily destroyed by the trawlers.