KUALA TERENGGANU – A ‘Save Our Sea Campaign’ which was launched by the Fisheries Department of Terengganu today can achieve its aim if it receives the full support of the 8,985 fishermen in the state.
State Agriculture, Agro-Based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim said that themed ‘Jangang Tohok Sapoh Laut’ (Don’t Throw Rubbish At Sea), the campaign targeted the co-operation of fishermen to take back their rubbish to land for disposal.
‘’Based on record, 2,578 boats have registered with the Fisheries Department in the state last year. If a boat dumps an estimated one kilogramme (kg) of rubbish such as food package, plastic bottles and plastic bags, it means 2,578 kg of rubbish is dumped into the sea every day.
‘’It is also estimated that the fishermen will be dumping 940 metric tonnes of rubbish in the sea every year if they are not taken back to land for disposal. As such, we launch this campaign in an effort to save our sea,’’ he said.
He said this to reporters after launching the campaign and the handing over of fish shelters to the fishermen’s community in the Kuala Terengganu district at Pulau Duyong on Thursday.
Also present were Terengganu Fisheries Department director, Zawawi Ali and 50 fishermen from Kuala Ibai and Tok Jembal.
In the meantime, several fishermen who were met by Bernama also lauded the launching of the campaign as indirectly it would boost the fish population in the sea which was the source of their livelihood.
A Kuala Ibai fisherman, Suhaizu Omar, 33, said that his fireglass boat’s engine was often damaged after the propeller snagged garbage such as gunny sack, old net ropes and large plastics.
‘’I will bring back my rubbish each time I go out to sea as I don’t want to litter the sea. What more, there are many exposures on the deaths of turtles after eating garbage.
‘’I hope the fishing community can make the campaign a success because we want the sea of Terengganu to continue to be rich with marine resources for the coming generations,’’ he said.
Fauzi Sulaiman, 47, felt sad each time he saw garbage floating on the surface of the sea and river estuaries as it showed the worsening pollution in the state.
‘’But, I am confident will show a positive result because the awareness of the fishermen will increase with time. I also hope the campaign will be expanded to the public including students so they will look after the cleanliness of the beach while the fishermen look after the cleanliness of the sea,’’ he added.- BERNAMA