Haze causes drop in fish catch by Pahang fishermen

Fish catch in the waters off Pahang has dropped by almost 20 per cent due to the haze which has shrouded the country for several months, said Pahang Fisheries director Adnan Hussain.

He said the low and limited visibility had resulted in fishermen not taking the risk of going out to sea.

“What worries the fishermen is when the Air Pollutant Index hits 150; then their visibility is only about 300 metres.

“This can cause their boatsd to collide with big fishing boats or commercial vessels,” he told Bernama here Thursday.

He said the department was concerned about the safety of the more than 8,000 fishermen in the state, and reminded them to equip their boats with the global positioning system (GPS) facility and to ensure they were in good condition to avoid them getting lost due to the limited visibility.

At the same time, he said, each boat must also be equipped with signal lights so that it could be seen by other fishermen or commercial vessels to avoid collision.

Meanwhile, a coastal fisherman in Beserah, Ramly Mohd, 48, said other than the haze, the choppy seas were also a reason for the reduced fish catch.

“Two years ago, I could earn as much as RM18,000 a month even though I am out at sea for only 18 days, but now with the haze, getting RM1,000 a month is difficult,” he said.

He claimed that the limited visibility had once caused him to land at Pantai Batu Hitam instead of Beserah.

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