TONTON ASTRO AWANI

PENGUNJUNG SETIA

21 Mac 2009

4 RIVERS EARMARKED FOR BREEDING FISH IN CAGES

Chong Chee Seong

Four rivers in Johor have been identified as most suitable for the breeding of fish in cages while the Johor Straits is best for mussel cultivation.

Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman says working papers will be prepared for the projects.
Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman says working papers will be prepared for the projects.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said he had directed the state Fisheries Department to undertake in-depth studies and prepare working papers on the four rivers, namely, Sungai Johor, Sungai Pulai, Sungai Muar and Sungai Kesang so that large-scale breeding could be implemented there.

He said he had also directed the department to design a modern structure for mussel breeding in the Johor Straits to attract tourists.

Ghani said relevant departments in the districts must monitor the cleanliness of the rivers to prevent pollution.

"The fishing industry is important as Johor is a maritime state surrounded by the South China Sea, the Johor Straits and the Straits of Malacca," he said after presenting compensations totalling RM157,000 to 88 inshore fishermen along Muar coast at Tangkak, Ledang, on March 20.

The compensations were for the fishermen after they lodged reports that their boats, fishing nets, traps and equipment were damaged by a dredging company.

Ghani said he would continue to liaise with the fishing community to understand their problems, needs and aspirations.

He said he was aware that the catch at sea had dwindled and therefore it was important to find ways to provide fishermen with alternative sources of income.

"That is why I had directed the relevant departments to look into the possibilities of increasing the breeding of fish in cages in more Johor rivers.

"As for mussels, Johor is known to be the biggest producer in the country and therefore all efforts must be made to fully exploit the potential of this industry," he added.

On the RM27.3 million marina at the estuary of the Muar river, Ghani said he had directed the Marine Department to expedite its use to prevent it from becoming a "white elephant".

The marina, which would be used as a stopover for local and foreign luxury boats, was completed in 2007.

The construction undertaken by Kuala Lumpur-based Maju Holding includes the Marina Tanjung Emas clubhouse, restaurant, multi-purpose shop, gymnasium, surau, restrooms, rooms for meetings, conferences and courses, and an office for the Immigration, Marine and Customs departments.

It also includes a breakwater and a pontoon for 52 boats to berth.

SOURCE: NEW STRAITS TIMES, JOHOR BUZZ, 21 MARCH 2009

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