BUTTERWORTH, Sept 9 — The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) wants the private sectors to scale up their participation in developing the country’s tuna industry.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said all parties should take advantage of Malaysia being a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to send more fishing vessels to catch tuna in the Indian Ocean, as well as to encourage more tuna vessels to land in the country.
He said collaboration between the government and the private sectors was also important to ensure the industry will continue to grow for the benefit of all parties.
“The cooperation will be able to increase the entry of tuna vessels into the port and tuna landings in the country,” he told reporters after visiting the Tuna Landing programme at the Ayer Dalam Wharf, here today.
Ronald said so far, the ministry had issued 20 licenses to 19 tuna fishing vessels and one tuna carrier that were already operating in the Indian Ocean.
He said that as the IOTC member, the country was given a quota to issue 70 licences that can be leveraged towards to spurt the tuna industry growth.
Ronald said despite being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country recorded a landing of 58,550 tonnes of tuna worth RM520 million from January to August this year.
Of the total, he said Penang Port recorded a landing of 1,301 tonnes worth RM19.5 million which were exported to Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
In a related development, Ronald said the government was in the midst of formulating the Tuna Industry Development Strategic Plan 2020-2030 in the quest to grow the tuna industry into one of the country’s new sources of wealth.
So far, Malaysia has two tuna landing ports, namely Penang Port and Langkawi Port.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency