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Ministry guideline on the size of marine catch soon
Published on: Sunday, November 05, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Hotels in the State are urged to implement a sustainable seafood purchasing policy so that marine resources can be properly preserved.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming called on Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) members to adopt such policy when they buy seafood from their suppliers.

"What that's mean is before they ensure that the supplier get their seafood from sustainable resources.

"Meaning that either they get the seafood from farms which are sustainable or from fishermen who catch their fish sustainably using the latest technology.

"The hotels must make sure the people who practise sustainable fishing using the proper net or, etc, are their suppliers and not those do not give much care for the environment or fish bombing.

"If we do not do something like this (policy), in the next five or 10 years we might lose our marine resources," he said, at the Sabah Hospitality Fiesta held at the Grand Merdeka mall in Telipok, Saturday.

According to him, the Agriculture Ministry also might have a guideline in protecting marine resources like crabs.

"The guideline should be implemented…for example certain sizes of marine catch cannot be sold at the market so as to protect the resources. If the guideline is not implemented, our marine catch is going to be less and less.

"Sabah is well-known in Malaysia or even in Asia as a place for the best seafood. If we lose this, we will lose one of our main attractions.

"So if they put into effect sustainable seafood purchasing I am sure this will force all the suppliers to ensure they buy what is allowed, or according to the size maybe.

During the event, Pang also revealed that several four or five star hotels in the State would be opened soon that can accommodate the number of tourists expected to increase every year.

In another development, Pang said the tourism industry is one of the top revenue generating sectors in the State and Malaysia as a whole.

He said last year recorded a total of 3,427,908 arrivals of which 1,128,776 were foreign tourists and 2,2999,908 domestic visitors from West Malaysia and Sarawak.

"This generated RM7.249 billion in tourism receipts for Sabah. As of August this year, Sabah recorded a total of 2,431,107 arrivals with estimated tourism receipts of RM5.158 billion.

"This shows that tourism has become an important sector in the country's economy.

Therefore, we have to constantly evolve to ensure that we can meet the market demand of tourists and mobile community.

"Granted that we have our wondrous natural heritage where we are proud to showcase our mountain, our islands and beaches.

"We must ensure that we do not pollute our environment by indiscriminate littering where our discards might polluted water and destroy habitats or marine or the marine life themselves," he said.

About 387 participants took part in the event.

Also present were MAH Sabah and Labuan Chapter President Thomas Willie, Ati College Executive Chief Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau and Organising Chairman Sukor Salleh. - Cynthia D Baga

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