Sibu, Malaysia: The Sarawak State Government in Malaysia has introduced the Remote Sensing Technology (RST) to the Seine river net fishermen in Sarawak. It aims to turn around low supply of fish in the state.
Yahya Mohamad, Head of Quality Improvement and Product Commercialisation in the Fisheries Department, said RST was an effort between Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to solve the problem of low catches.
He said the studies of RST were introduced in 2007 in four states in Peninsular Malaysia – Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor. The studies showed that the new method would not only save time and cost but also increase catch volumes, thus increasing the Seine net operators’ income.
“Before this, the fishermen were only trying their luck every time they went out to fish, moving from one place to another, relying solely on their instinct from past experiences. So we give them the technology to enable them to fish more efficiently,” Mohamad said.
Mohamad added that the technology is provided free of charge. However, in a year or so, the ministry would impose a minimum charge for the technology. He believed the new technology is a useful tool and definitely more scientific in detecting schools of fish and would continue to be invaluable to the fishermen in providing more consistent income. He also revealed that 100 vessels in West Malaysia were fitted with the new technology.