Fish bombers mostly kids: Junz
Published on: Saturday, February 01, 2020
By: Larry Ralon
File photo from Bernama.
Kota Kinabalu: The Government is facing a tough time nabbing and charging fish bombers because most are kids aged below 15 and 16 with the youngest, 10. State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, Datuk Junz Wong, said this was discovered during an ongoing in-depth study done by his Ministry together with the United Nations (UN) and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The study, carried out since the tragedy involving two Chinese tourists and their local dive master by fish bombs while diving off Semporna in July last year, were looking at the socio-economic problems of the fishing community.ADVERTISEMENT
“It is very sad that the people continue to do so (fish bombing/blasting). It is even sadder that most of these fish bombers are kids. When we arrest them we don’t know where to put them, because they are kids.”
So it is a matter of coming up with a holistic approach which we are now working with the UN and some international NGOs to resolve this issue,” said Wong, who is Tanjung Aru Assemblyman, when met at the One Place Mall’s Chinese New Year 2020 celebration here Friday. Putatan MP, Awang Husaini Sahari, was also present.
He was asked about the complaint by divers in social media about fish bombing within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, near here, which struck fear among divers and tourists. He said they intend to form a committee soon on the socio-economic issue for fish bombing. ADVERTISEMENT
“On the activity (at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park), I spoke to the Sabah Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Director who said they cannot guard the entire sea especially when it is done by kids.
“But it is no excuse for us not to continue on working hard to resolve this problem. To us, this is a bread and butter issue. So if we can lift their (fishermen) living standard and resolve their socio-economic problems, I think it will very extensively and effectively resolve this issue,” he said.
Fish bombing is punishable under Section 26 (1) (c) of the Fisheries Act 1985 and Section 8 of the Explosives Act 1957.
The offence, under the Fisheries Act, carries a maximum fine of RM20,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years or both, while the Explosives Act carries seven years’ imprisonment or a fine of RM10,000, or both.