News: Deep sea fishermen forced to buy fish from market

The Star, 9 Jan 2013

PASIR PUTEH: Deep sea fishermen in Cherang Ruku, near here, have chosen to stay on shore and buy fish from the market after warnings by the meteorological department that it was bracing for the worst following reports of the typhoon Sonamu hitting the Kelantan shoreline.

“Apart from loss of income, we have no choice but to buy fish for our consumption, although it may be expensive,” said Husain Awang, 65, a deep sea fisherman for 30 years.

He is among the estimated 500 affected fishermen who cannot afford the risk of going out to sea in the bad weather and, over the past 10 days, had been buying fish from those licensed to catch fish within 20km from the shore.

“Our luck was better during the last monsoon season. The current season is much longer and we are unsure how long we have to wait before it is safe to go out to sea,” said Husain.

Fisherman Fauzi Idris, 45, said in his 20 years as a deep sea fisherman he had not seen such a prolonged bad weather.

“In previous years, we had to wait up to four days due bad weather and choppy seas. But, it has been 10 days now since I have gone out to sea,” he lamented, adding that he felt sad to have to buy fish from others for the first time.

Suhaimi Ismail, 40, worried about his badly-affected income, said: “I would have to seek the help of the local fishermen’s association.

“Things look gloomy and I will not be surprised if some fishermen take the risk of going out to sea in desperation.”

Meanwhile, state National Security Council secretary Mohamad Rosle Mamat advised fishermen to be patient and exercise caution although the sea conditions looks normal.

“It may seem normal but we can never know that the situation is dangerous out in the open sea.

“That is why I want to advise the fishermen to be patience and wait until the situation is safe before going out to sea,” he said.