CAP: Reclamation will endanger livelihood of 300 coastal fishermen

CAP: Reclamation will endanger livelihood of 300 coastal fishermen
PHOTO: Reuters

GEORGE TOWN - A proposed reclamation project in Permatang Damar Laut on the southeastern coast of Penang island should be scrapped.

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urged the state government to scrap the project as it would affect the environment as well as the livelihood of 300 coastal fishermen in the area.

"Our survey found that in addition to the coastal fishing zone becoming narrower, the fishing village and forest along Pantai Indah will be destroyed if the project is implemented," CAP president S.M.Mohamed Idris said in a press statement yesterday.

He claimed the state government had not officially informed the residents of the reclamation.

"The locals do not know the real purpose of the project and are worried about their future," Idris said while urging the state government to make public the purpose of the reclamation.

He feared the fishermen would suffer the same fate as their counterparts in Tanjong Tokong and Sungai Gelugor if their fishing areas were reclaimed for projects.

He said CAP hoped the state would cancel the project and instead assist the fishing community in the area to increase their catch and solve the long-standing problem of sludge pollution there.

"CAP's investigation found that thick sludge had settled on the coast there and visitors to the beach were disappointed to see the sedimentation.

"The sludge is a threat to fish resources and fishing catch has declined by over 50% since the problem started two years ago," Idris said.

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