SANDAKAN: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) has proposed for the installation of an Automatic Identification System (AIS) on all fishing boats operating in the east coast of Sabah.
ESSCOM director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek said the installation of the AIS would enable immediate aid and assistance to be given to fishermen in case of any untoward incidents.
He said the system was equipped with an emergency button which, when pressed, would alert the Royal Malaysian Navy, marine police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement agency.
“The use of the system will enable fishermen, who are falling victim to criminals at sea or coming across suspicious boats, to immediately alert the security forces,” he told reporters after attending a meeting with seven fishermen’s associations here today.
At present, there are 18,662 registered fishing boats in seven ESSCOM areas, namely Sandakan with 5,687 boats, Tawau (3,385), Beluran (2,764), Kudat (2,413), Semporna (2,457), Lahad Datu (1,094) and Kunak (862).–BERNAMA