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Proposed Regulations for Fishing and Harvesting of Marine Resources

Other marine parks in Sabah prohibit all hunting, capture and removal of living resources except for fishing with hook and line, which can be carried out without a licence. The Tun Sakaran Marine Park (TSMP) is a special case and a new concept for Sabah Parks, because it has a resident local community who depend on harvesting and fishing of marine resources to meet their everyday needs (for further details of resource use go to Publications).

The management strategy adopted for TSMP, and ratified in the Management Plan, is for a multiple use Park in which the local community is allowed to continue to fish in certain areas, with specific types of gear.

Although fishing will continue, a comprehensive set of regulations is needed to ensure that it is sustainable and is not threatening biodiversity. Marine resources in TSMP have dwindled to a low level because of heavy fishing pressure and destructive fishing methods. This over-exploitation needs to be addressed because it is causing hardship to local communities and loss of biodiversity.

Fisher catch © Elizabeth Wood
Fisher catch © Elizabeth Wood

The following strategies have been agreed in principle:

Area restrictions : Under the zoning system for the TSMP, some areas will be set aside as no-take areas (Conservation Zone and Preservation Zone: see Zoning Plan) where fishing or harvesting of any living or non-living resources is prohibited. These are areas of high biodiversity that will act as refuges and seed areas for the rest of the park.

Gear and catch restrictions : Fishing and harvesting of marine resources in the other zones (Pelagic and General use Zones) will be allowed, but only under permit, and according to regulations laid down by Sabah Parks. These regulations will list permissible gear and may specify amounts and species that can be taken. Certain fishing methods and gears will be banned because they are destructive, unselective or encourage over-exploitation.

Permits : A permit will be required for all fishing and harvesting of marine resources in the TSMP. All individuals wishing to fish or use living marine resources in the Park will need to complete an application form and submit it to Sabah Parks for consideration.

Recording catch and effort : A log book scheme will be developed so that data can be collected for management purposes.

Surveillance and enforcement : Regular patrols by Park staff will be needed to check fishing activities and permits. Local community wardens may also be involved in surveillance.

Proposed regulations

1) The following list of fishing appliances and methods are prohibited throughout all zones of the TSMP with immediate effect:


a) Explosives
b) Fish poisons
c) Trawling
d) Electric fishing
e) SCUBA and hookah gear
f) Powered spear gun
g) ‘Muro ami’ technique
h) All types of nets in coral habitats less than 5m depth
i) Trammel nets
j) Targeting or capture of any species on the protected list

2) The fishing appliances and methods in the list below will be prohibited in stages, following education and awareness campaigns. Six months notice will be given before the restriction for any of these gears is introduced. Temporary permits for use will be required until the banning orders come into force.

a) Gill net/drift net
b) Seine net
c) Purse seine
d) Floating or moveable lift net

3) The fishing appliances and methods listed below can be used in the TSMP, but only within the prescribed zones (and not in the Conservation or Preservation Zones).

Gear type

Pelagic use zone

General use zone

Hook and line

Hand lines for fish

Restricted use*

Restricted use*

Hand line with lure for octopus

N/A

Permit

Bottom long line

Permit

No

Trolling lines for tuna/pelagic fish

Permit

No

Traps

Fish stakes

N/A

Permit

Fish, crab & lobster traps

N/A

Permit

Spears

Hand spear

Permit

No

Fish aggregating devices

Permit

No

Hand collecting

N/A

Permit

* Park residents (local community) may fish in the General Use and Pelagic Use Zones for personal or family consumption only and using only a single hand line or hand collecting.

 

Strombus and Lambis © Elizabeth Wood
Strombus and Lambis © Elizabeth Wood

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