AN effective and more rigid
enforcement of the temporary ban of any fishing activity in
Zone 1 by the Fisheries Department, Ministry of Industry and
Primary Resources is needed, according to Alfred Yong, owner
of Fred's Fishing Store and certified captain of the
International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
At the same time, fishing enthusiasts have called for
proper and impartial enforcement of the temporary ban, which
was imposed for conservation purposes as 40 per cent of
Brunei's marine resources have been depleted.
Of concern are trawlers' destructive methods of bottom
trawling or using blocks of wood and weights to hold their
nets to the bottom and dragging them over the reefs, damaging
"We need to protect our reefs and resources against illegal
trawlers," Yong stated.
He suggested the use of reef balls as artificial reefs that
protect or reconstruct damaged and natural ones as a way to
rectify this quandary.
Authorities have been taking action against local
commercial fishing vessels that conduct fishing in prohibited
zones. To show impartiality, the same concerted action should
be taken against foreign commercial fishing vessels coming
into Brunei waters to fish with impunity.
To this end, proper patrols and prosecution of foreign
fishing vessels should be practiced for these illegal actions
to ensure impartiality of the law enforcement.
Yong added that educating the public on the need for
conservation will also be effective in enforcing the law and
rejuvenating our natural resources.
"Educate people to be more caring about the environment and
the sea," he said.
Pollution and cyanide poisoning of fish are some issues
that should be raised and educated to the public.
Relevant authorities should also maintain mangrove swamps
and watch for the destruction of mangrove areas, said Yong.
"Mangrove swamps are breeding ground for a lot of fishes
and affect our natural resources in the sea," he stated.
Schools and sizes of fish would also increase if each
fisherman's catch is limited in number or if the capture of
undersized fishes which should be allowed to grow before being
caught is controlled, he added.
This will ensure the breeding of more fishes and thus
increase and rejuvenate Brunei's marine resources.
He also suggested lessening commercial fishing and
sustaining more regulated sports fishing activities. Such
activities can also make money, said the fishing expert.
"This is tied to tourism," he added. "The government can
get revenue from sports fishing."
Fred's Fishing Store is one of the organisers for the
upcoming Brunei International Fishing Competition 2007 and
provides chartered fishing on their boat, the Apollo.
The Brunei Times