Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Fisheries Department of Kedah to investigate and take immediate action to prohibit the use of high-powered spotlight by fishers in Pulau Langkawi when catching squid in the waters around the island.
The use of spotlights may lead to the extinction of marine life and subsequently affect the food supply for consumers and threaten the country’s fisheries sector.
One thousand (1,000) to 3,000 watts spotlight installed on fishing boats here not only attract large squid but also small sized and juvenile squid that can grow in the future, given time.
If juvenile and baby squid (paralarvae) are caught indiscriminately and their growth is impeded the squid population here may become extinct within twenty years.
In a survey conducted by SAM recently we found that many fishermen in Pulau Langkawi disagreed and objected to the use of these high-powered spotlights. We understand that the fishermen had on several occasions raised the issue in meetings of fishermen’s association, but no action was taken by the relevant parties.
Due to the inaction to curb the problem that has persisted for more than five years it has become increasingly challenging as the number of fishermen using the spotlight has increased.
Some vendors of the spotlight offer installment payment to any fisher in Pulau Langkawi who wants to buy and use the tool to catch squid.
SAM is concerned and frustrated because no concrete action has been taken to resolve the long-standing problem.
Thus SAM urges the Fisheries Department to immediately prohibit the use of high-powered spotlight to prevent the extinction of resources that may affect the livelihood of fishers and national food supply in the future.