August 19, 2016

Illegal fishing complaints within Myeik Archipelago can be made direct

U MYINT San, Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation of Tanintharyi Region, address Tanintharyi Region Hluttaw on Thursday stating that complaints can now be made directly to Myanmar’s Navy if off-shore fishing vessels are found to be conducting fishing activities close to shore.
The regional minister’s address was in response to a query raised by U Toe Lwin, Hluttaw MP for Kyunsu Township Constituency 1, who inquired which body would be responsible for taking legal action against such off-shore fishing vessels, which ply the waters of the Myeik Archipelago, who come and fish in coastal waters.
“If fishing vessels are discovered lawlessly fishing within water parameters non-permitted for fishing activities, legal action can be taken in the manner of the Myanmar Marine Fishing Law,” continued U Myint San. “As well as staff from regional and district level departments of fisheries carrying out inspections in conjunction with Myanmar’s Navy, efforts have be made that will allow those who spot [off-shore vessels entering to fish in coastal waters] to report such news directly to the navy’s regional commander.”
While off-shore fishing vessels do commence their trawling activities within the ten-mile permitted area, the proposal for legal to be taken against those vessels which refrain from complying which such regulations, entering to fish in coastal waters, was made in a bid to mitigate such action which attributes towards depleting fish stocks and hostile behavior of such off-shore
fishing vessels who reportedly chasing down, and sink, smaller vessels if they are challenged on their illegality of their fishing activities.
“I desire permission to know who, and in which manner, legal action will be taken against these large off-shore fishing vessels which lawlessly enter coastal waters of the Kyunsu Township to fish,” inquired U Tin Lwin.
Violation of the Myanmar Marine Fishing Law brings with it a three-year long prison sentence and/or a fine of K200,000 in regard to Article 45, while sections a, b, c and d of Article 25 stipulate that fishing paraphernalia is to be confiscated and a written pledge stating such action would not be repeated is required to be permitted to re-conduct fishing activities. Furthermore, those caught breaking fishing regulations could face a fine of K3 million and a three-month fishing license suspension, while should an offender be caught again a fine of K6 million can be imposed while fishing licenses will be confiscated for six-months. Should a repeat violator of the rules and regulations be caught for a third time, their fishing vessel will reportedly be confiscated as public property.
A total of 46 unlicensed fishing vessels, including three for neighbouring Thailand, were caught during the previous fiscal year while this current fiscal year has so far seen a total nine vessels discovered not to be in line with rules and regulations.
U Myint San also noted that the public can report news of sightings of fishing vessels conducting lawless activities by communicating directly with Major Myo Han of the Myanmar Navy by phoning 09-731-524-49.


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