More worried fisher folk meet to discuss impact of land reclamation

Fisher folk meeting in Sungai Acheh on mainland Penang

More groups representing fisher folk have come together to express concern about land reclamation in Penang.

Representatives from The Penang Inshore (Coastal) Fishermen’s Welfare Association (Pifwa), the Malaysian Coastal Fishermen’s Network (Jaringan Persatuan Nelayan Malaysia or Jaringan) and Pertubuhan Muafakat Warga Desa Kedah met in Sungai Acheh on 27 June to discuss the impact of land reclamation on their livelihoods.

Pifwa represents 6000-7000 registered fisher folk in Penang with several thousand other part-timers.

Perak Jaringan reps say there are 4000 registered fisher folk in Kerian in northern Perak with a larger number of part-timers or unregistered fishers.

With each fisher supporting an average of seven household dependants, that would mean tens of thousands of people in the northern region could potentially feel the impact of full blown land reclamation. The fisher folk worry that not only could their livelihoods be affected but also worry about how they will support their children’s education as fishing catches dwindle.

The fisher folk say Pulau Betong and the muddy coastal areas along the eastern half of the island are important breeding grounds for marine life.

The Malaysian Fisheries Department (Jabatan Perikanan) regards coastal stretches up to one nautical mile from shore as fishing conservation areas.

Source: Fisheries Department Malaysia pamphlet
A Fisheries Department of Malaysia pamphlet

The Department recently rezoned fishing areas to, among other things, create a healthier ecosystem and protect marine breeding grounds. The rezoning, which takes effect from 1 June 2014, also increases the traditional coastal fisher folks’ catch area to eight nautical miles from shore.

Fisheries Dept pamphlet

But coastal fisher folk say they are already feeling the impact (including resulting siltation) of land reclamation, which they say extends well beyond the immediate sites of reclamation to important coastal fishing areas such as the mainland stretch from Bagan Ajam to Penaga farther north.

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Don Anamalai

Johor will impose a payment of RM0.30 sen for every sq ft on developers involved in sea reclamation works in the state with immediate effect. With a total acreage of 3,237.48 hectares in reclamation activities in and around Iskandar Malaysia, a total of RM104 million is expected to be received. However, the actual number of aid to be channelled to the fishermen is still unknown.

Should the Penang government do likewise and channel the money collected to compensate the fishermen?


Actually now can approach YB Wee Ka Siong who is the minister in charge of kampung affairs.
How timely!


While the sea is dying, another theme park resort by the sea? How many theme parks (approved by you know who) does Penang need to have insanely? The Star: Eco world and another large firm to build resort themes park Where is the Local Plan still in hiding inside Komtar Tower of Cosmopolitan Penang Frenzied? 308 promises leading to these: Theme parks, shopping malls, million ringgit homes, botak hills, muddied coastline, sewage-blacken beaches, stampeding traffic, narrow pedestrian paths. Bids, approves, builds, sells@insane prices, all in the name of cosmopolitan frenzied & free market forces. The price – unaffordable living… Read more »


The ill effects of development is also happening in other cities in Malaysia. Opt for small town living for peace of mind and lower cost. This is my Ramadan reflection.

Vote But Not Be-Fooled

Very pathetic soul.


Ramadan buffer now can cost RM75 per head at restaurants or hotel.
Malays can now afford such extravagance to break fast!


DAP, the CAT LGE are just selfish. They are only interested in Vitamin M at all cost without any regards for the environment and quality of life of the people at the cost of depriving the livelihood of the poor people. The state govt is (allegedly) now driving out all the hawkers at the open space in Mount Erskine where they have been trading for many upteen years. They were not given any option of another site and were told to move out by a certain date. The were ask to apply for MPPP lot not within the areas but… Read more »

Ed G

What those fishermen are facing is the inevitable effect some would have to bear in the face of the so-called ‘progress and development’ which is happening nationwide. How many traditional family and small businesses or industries have gone bust with the setting up of high capital giants? Or how many traditional villages and townships have been leveled to make way for modern skyscrapers, malls or even car parks? What about the plights of the orang asals {aborigines) who are fighting a losing battle against the wide-scaled encroachments into their ancestral lands?

Vote But Not Be-Fooled

Those who voted for the inevitable are the fools.
Helpless fools whose votes are worthless after the GEs.
Such mentalities are easy targets of opportunist politicians.
Life is worthless anyway.

Ed G

I was trying to highlight that the so-called ‘progress and development’ may have negative implications for some, especially but not limited to those who are weak and voiceless. It is also not just confined to Penang but the whole nation irrespective of the ruling party. What I was implying but did not state clearly is that it is the role of the government to contain or reduce these negative effects by adopting on more humanitarian and equitable approaches or policies instead of looking just from the economics, business or development standpoint.

Lukaku Penang

Penang to become Service-business (eg IT BTO). May be Invest Penang chief (ex Gerakan K top gun) (can) do something to create decent paying jobs for Nelayan/Fishermen eg housekeeping jobs for many new hotels ???

Nelayan Betong Tak Bela Kucing

Orang kaya-gaya-raya makan Sushi, mana ada perut makan ikan Pulau Pinang.
Orang miskin yang akan hilang kerja tak de masaalah mereka yang mimpi lebih lagi Sushi King dimerata tempat.
Inilah kebenaran sikap kucing kurap yang tak ada perut makan ikan.

Dato Sharom Ahmat

These concerns should be forwarded to the Chief Minister of Penang.Hopefully he understands the plight of the poor which is one of the Penang Government’s priorities


He will only understand fast track development without concern for the environment, people and welfare. We have one of the most selfish leaders and party governing our beloved state.


Tell LGE this is last last sekali generasi Koay Kow Kia.
No laut bersih, no Koay Kow Hu.
Koay Kow no migrate to mainland macam orang. Will dri and die.

Lukaku Penang

Koay Kow big and small still thriving at the lakes of Belum Forest.

Orang asli there use bamboo traps to capture them and offer to nearby restaurants.

Penangites can witness Koay Kow fish at Batu Maung Aquarium.

Orang Nelayan Tak Layan KucingKurap

Lukaku, jangan tipu orang macam Kucing Kurap.
Mana de Koay Kow di Tasik Belum?
Tu ikan laut lah!
Cakap tak serupa makan ikan!


Same fate as suffered by the Johor’s Pengerang fishermen due to The Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project by Petronas (where the Sultan of Johor is (reportedly eyeing a 10 per cent stake in a power generation plant)) (The project) includes land reclamation causing also the destruction of the habitat of lobsters. There are about 3,100 residents within the seven villages affected, who earned a living as fishermen and smallholders. Though some argued that 40,000 jobs would be created during the construction phase and 4,000 by the time the projects are completed in 2016, the reality are for many… Read more »


Cosmopolitan Penang Frenzied dictates ‘materialistic-based evolution’, not ‘creation with a spiritual heart & soul’. Charles Darwin will have to be resurrected to update from 21st Century thesis of CAT Evolution at Komtar Tower. CAT Evolution scenario on Penang Island + Mainland (not Darwin’s Galapagos Islands): The weak will be vanquished, the strong & rich+wealthy will thrive, inter-marry + cross-breed & wine+dine in situ. There will be no space for those who can’t catch up with the evolution winds of change traded, swapped & socially-engineered irrespective of differences within the strata of society & cultures. Penang will no longer be a… Read more »

Aisay man

I do believe Johor’s case is anytime very much worse when knowing the strait in between Singapore and Johor is twice narrower than Penang’s.
It’s a bit puzzling also why has northern Perak got to do with Penang’s reclamation in the northern open sea?


Impact of reclamation is also happening elsewhere besides Penang. I think thr cases in Johor is more severe as Singapore is also complaining.