LAHAD DATU - Fishermen here are puzzled over the latest ruling requiring them to register their vessels with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) as they are already registered with Sabah Ports and Harbours Department and the Fisheries Department.
Lahad Datu Fishermen Association chairman Eskin Brahim, 52, said it had been a requirement for all boat owners to register their vessels whether small or large.
"If the authorities find unregistered boats at sea, they will arrest all on board the ship so I don't really understand what this new ruling is about," he said, adding that they would nevertheless abide by the new procedures.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced on Wednesday that all boats in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) would need to register with Esscom so the authorities could differentiate between local and foreign boats. The move comes following a decision for all foreign boats to use only the seven gazetted sea lanes into Sabah.
Fisherman Saradi Musurani, 59, said the move to register all boats and vessels "would be good for the security of the east coast".
However, Saradi, who owns two boats, said they had yet to receive official instruction to register their vessels with Esscom.