COMMENT | The key question is - why is it that despite the enormous sum spent on programmes and projects intended to benefit fisheries and the fishing community, the community remains amongst the poorest in the country and fisheries development has been unimpressive?
The most underrated and under-appreciated sector in Malaysia must be the fishing industry and the fisherfolk who risk their lives to land the food which most Malaysians love but take for granted.
For most people enjoying fish and other seafood dishes, their only concern is the quality and the price of the marine items that go into the meal.
Little or no thought is given to the fisherfolk who eke out a difficult and dangerous living. These are self-employed families - mainly Malay and bumiputera.
Usually born into and carrying on the occupation of their fathers and forefathers, the male heads of these households, previously were tied to traditional methods and boats to land their small, often meagre catches.