Fisheries Department to review enforcement of proposed trawler ban

National 1 minute, 36 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

THE trawler ban proposed by the Fisheries Department is being re-evaluated considering its impact on the livelihood of trawler operators.

Speaking of the proposed regulation which was scheduled to be implemented sometime this year, the department’s Acting Director said “When it comes to this ban, we need to take it slowly because with the establishment of the ban, it will affect the livelihood of all the trawler operators.”

Acting Director Abdul Halidi Salleh in an interview with The Brunei Times said that the fisheries department over the years has carried out numerous initiatives to combat overfishing in the country.

It was previously reported that the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism planned banning of all trawlers in Brunei waters by this year was prompted by an increase in the loss of biodiversity of species from 12 per cent in 1999 to 75 per cent in 2010.

The proposed ban was also hoped to promote long-term food security in the country.

All trawler operators invest large amounts of money for their vessels and equipment, said the acting director adding that the trawler ban will cause these operators to experience serious losses.

“We are being very cautious with this (the ban) because we do not want to upset the livelihood of all the stakeholders that are going to be affected,” he said.

“There are probably ways for trawlers to continue their operations that will have less damaging effects on the marine ecosystem however they (the operators) will have to use different equipments as methods which will take more money,” he added.

The acting director said that the trawler ban will most likely commence in five years time, as the ministry is still in discussion regarding the proper compensation for the trawler operators.

Abd Halidi said that the department is looking into conducting more dialogue sessions with relevant stakeholders so that all parties involved can reach a solution where it will be beneficial to all.

The Brunei Times