SHAH ALAM – In previous years, the income for coastal fishermen in Selangor depended only on the marine life that was caught in their fishing nets, but now they have been able to diversity their income through cockle farming.
Cockle farming, mooted by Jeram assemblyman Datuk Amiruddin Setro, has helped to improve the standard of living of fishermen in fishermen in Selangor, providing them with an additional income of between RM2,500 and RM3,000 a month.
One of the fishermen, Kahar Buntal, 65, of Kampung Kuala Sungai Buloh, Jeram, Kuala Selangor, said they did not need to have huge capital to start a cockle farming project as the cockle seeds could be easily found in the coastal areas.
“Selangor, with its muddy beaches, has an abundance of cockle seeds and suitable for cockle farming,,” he said when met by Bernama.
In 2008, three cockle farming projects were carried out by the Selangor Fisheries Department in Klang, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam.
The projects, implemented with the aim of increasing the state’s aquaculture production, involved the participation of traditional fishermen, each group involving five to 10 people for each lot.
Kahar said implementation of the cockle farming projects had helped to provide additional income for the fishermen.
They began the day by first harvesting the cockles before going to the sea to fish in the afternoon, he said, adding that jetties were also built at each cockle farming projects to facilitate landing activities.
According to the Malaysian Fisheries Department official website, the price of cockles has increased from RM1.94 per kg in 2010 to RM8 per kg last year due to high demand.
Meanwhile, Selangor Fishermen Association chairman Ab Aziz Selamat said other initiatives which helped to increase the fishermen’s income included the Q’Fish project, by the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim, who is Kuala Selangor Member of Parliament.
He said the Q’Fish project was carried out to ensure sufficient and consistent supply of fish by having frozen fish stock.
“Apart from that, the government’s move in introducing the 10 sen incentive for every kg of fish catch helps to ease the financial burden of the fishermen,” he added. – BERNAMA