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Premier hails impact of Sarawak Reef Ball Project
Posted on : 19 Sep 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

Abang Johari and his delegation witness the deployment of the reef ball from their yacht.
– Penerangan Photo

KUCHING (Sept 19): The Sarawak Reef Ball Project (2018-2022) has had a very positive impact that resulted in the increase of fishermen’s catch, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this was due to the growth of marine life in Sarawak waters.

“We have received feedback that the fishermen’s catches have increased due to an increase in fish resources and this has provided an impact on their lives and income,” he told a press conference after witnessing the deployment of the final reef ball for Phase 1 of the project at Pulau Satang waters near here yesterday.

A total of 16,800 artificial reef balls have been deployed along the coastal waters of Sarawak from Tanjung Datu, Lundu to Lawas.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), which had been entrusted to carry out the RM70 million project since 2018, has managed to deploy the reef balls in 740 clusters of 20 to 30 reef balls along 720km out of 900km coastlines of Sarawak.

Abang Johari said that the Sarawak Reef Ball Project contributed significantly to the increase of fish especially in coastal areas.

“Most of the places where the reef balls have been deployed now contained a lot of fish and therefore (fishing) is no longer dependent on seasons.

“As such, this has a positive effect from an economic point of view for people living in coastal areas,” he said.

On another matter, Abang Johari said the issue of foreign fishermen encroaching in Sarawak’s coastal waters has been taken seriously by the state government.

He pointed out that this was why the Sarawak Coast Guard was established to protect the coastal areas under the state’s jurisdiction so that they will not be encroached by foreign fishermen.

“Sometimes those (foreign fishermen) who catch fish in the deep sea also approach coastal areas.

“That is why we decided to establish the Sarawak Coast Guard to protect marine wildlife in Sarawak’s waters,” he said.

Abang Johari gives the thumbs up upon arrival at the jetty of Kampung Telaga Air after witnessing the deployment of the 16,800th reef ball for the Sarawak Reef Ball Project.
– Penerangan Photo

Also present were Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Dato Sri Dr Sim KuiHian, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development Datu Len Talif Salleh, Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication (Utility) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton and Sarawak Forest Department director Datu Hamden Mohammad.