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  The Star 23 Nov 06
Malaysia requests fishermen to stop using trawl nets

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state government has expressed its disappointment over the attitude of local fishermen who still prefer to use trawl nets which endangers marine life.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the usage of trawl net was still rife in the state despite efforts to create awareness on the magnitude of destruction caused when the nets sweep the seabed.

"We have to address this issue to save our marine life and the only way is to increase enforcement," he said in an interview after handing over aid to families of three people who were killed in a road accident recently.

Idris said the state government had worked hard to eliminate the usage of trawl nets in deep-sea fishing but had not been successful due to the overzealous attitude of the fishermen to haul more catch.

"Fishermen in Mauritius are hauling huge catch by using cloth material to cast their nets which cause minimal damages to marine life," he said.

Idris said the state government planned to construct a marine life reviving centre here to save aquatic animals found abandoned or beached along the coastline.

However, he said this could only be carried out once the mindset of the local fishermen have been changed to give priority to marine life while casting their nets.

On Sunday, a giant leatherback was found dead at Teluk Ketepang, Seberang Takir. Injury marks on the carcass of the reptile indicate that it could have died after getting stuck to a trawl net.

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