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Shahrom bin Abdul Majid
Department of Fisheries
Ministry of Agriculture


All Malaysian marine fisheries are essentially small-scale conducted in shallow waters (under 50 m), predominantly within the territorial waters of 12 miles and only rarely beyond 30 miles. Prior to 1963, the Malaysian marine fish catch was taken by traditional gears such as bag nets, bottom gill nets and traps operating in inshore waters. At that time the greater part of the licensed fishing fleet operating in waters off Peninsular Malaysia was not motorized. In 1961, less than a quarter of the total licensed fleet of 22,959 was inboard powered. The fisheries had undergone a major growth in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with landings increasing from 300,000 tons in 1967 to 650,000 tons in 1981. This spectacular growth resulted mainly from the introduction of trawling for prawns in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia; the licensed trawler fleet grew from a few vessels in the early 60s to 4,500 in 1981.

There were 44,851 licensed fishing boats in the country in 1981. Of these 25,365 or 56 percent were inboard fishing boats, 12,360 or 28 percent were outboard powered boats and 7,126 or 16 percent non-powered boats. The bulk of these fishing boats were concentrated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Of the 21,849 fishing boats on the west coast the majority (12,472) were inboard powered. The majority of these inboard powered boats were less than 15 GRT powered by 40 HP engines. There were 8,541 fishing boats on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the majority (6,113) of which were also inboard powered boats of less than 15 GRT powered by engines of less than 40 HP. Of the total number of boats in Peninsular Malaysia, 83 percent are boats operating traditional gears.

The nature of the problem faced by the Fishing Industry

Analysis of catch and effort statistics and of the results of research surveys have led to the conclusion by the Malaysian Government that, despite the continuously rising catch trends, the stocks of both demersal and pelagic fish in the inshore fishing area are either intensively-exploited as in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia or over-exploited as in the waters of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This is supported by evidences of the virtual disappearance of certain commercial species of fish, in the persistent decrease in catch per unit effort, in the very high incidence (more than 80 percent in the 1981 landings) of trash fish in the demersal landings, of which a significantly large portion are composed of under-sized immature fish of commercially valuable species. Trends in landings have also declined in the last few years. Above all, the potential for increasing production appears to be limited to some less intensely-exploited areas of Sabah and Sarawak and off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the deeper waters of the South China Sea. For the inshore areas of Peninsular Malaysia, in particular the west coast, fishing effort and investment need to be reduced to make the harvest more economically efficient in terms of manpower and capital and to conserve the various fish resources.

Besides the problem of the resource factor, the rapid development of the Malaysian fisheries in the early '60s and '70s have brought problems rather than benefit to the small-scale fisheries operating traditional gears.

These problems may be attributed to the deficiencies of fisheries plans to provide for effective management and promotion of the latter and to regulate the expansion of the trawl fisheries, in particular the mini-trawl fisheries into the most productive fishing grounds where the small-scale traditional fishermen operate. The traditional fishermen were already in difficult socio-economic straits, with average income among the lowest in the nation. Further deterioration of their position due to disruption or displacement by the advent of trawling took place. Also prior to 1980 there were no clear cut strategies for the proper management of the fishery resources.

The problems therefore that prevail in the Malaysian inshore fisheries are an excess of fishing units and consequently too many fishermen, intense fishing and hence competition for limited resources, leading to decline catch rates and reduced income, especially in the traditional fisheries sector to which the majority of fishermen belongs.

Management measures

The management of the fishery resources prior to 1980 had been on a problem-oriented basis, that is, reacting to the problems as they appeared. Using the same approach after the introduction of trawling resulted in a series of decisions being taken on a disjointed-incrementation basis rather than within the framework of an overall plan for achieving optimum utilization of the resources. Another factor which led to and exacerbated this problem of lack of clear-cut strategies for the management of the resources was the absence of a sufficiently good data base for the planning of management strategies.

Management and conservation controls in force then included a minimum mesh size for cod-ends in otter-trawl nets of 38 mm (1.5 inches) internal extension measure, which was later reduced to 25.4 mm (1 inch), prohibition of the use of beam-trawl nets for catching prawns, demarcation of the distance from the coast within which otter trawling was not permitted and prohibition of night fishing by trawlers under a certain size.

This lack of sound management strategies in the context of intense-exploitation and over-capitalization led to the formulation of a management policy which was adopted in 1981.

The area of importance in the allocation of fishery resources is in the inshore waters, where the problem is one of allocating the fishery resources between the highly efficient and mobile trawlers and the traditional fishing gears.

The Fisheries Licensing Policy, initially formulated to solve the problems arising from the conflict between the traditional fishermen and the mini-trawler fishermen in the inshore waters, now encompasses fisheries as a whole in marine waters under the jurisdiction of Malaysia and addresses itself to:

  1. The elimination of competition and the ensuing conflict between traditional fishermen and mini-trawler fishermen in inshore waters

  2. The prevention of over-exploitation of the fishery resources in inshore waters

  3. A more equitable distribution of fishing throughout the waters under the jurisdiction of Malaysia

  4. The restructuring of the ownership pattern of fishing units in accord with the New Economic Policy

  5. Promotion of the development of offshore industrial fisheries

The main strategy employed is the allocation of fishing grounds through zoning. Four zones are established under the policy. The first zone, from the shore to 5 miles from the shore, is reserved for (owner-operated) traditional fishing gears; the second zone, between 5 miles and 12 miles from the shore, is reserved for (owner-operated) trawlers and purse-seiners of less than 40 gross tonnes; the third zone, between 12 miles from the shore and 30 miles from the base-line of territorial waters, is reserved for trawlers and purse-seiners greater than 40 gross tonnes and other fishing gears wholly owned and operated by Malaysians. Foreign fishing, including joint-venture or charter, is restricted to the fourth zone which is between 30 miles from the base line of the territorial waters and the outer limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The policy therefore has to achieve the objectives enumerated in (a) and (e) above, established zones by type of fishing gear and size of boat, and ownership of the fishing unit to ensure a more equitable distribution of fishing, fishing effort, ownership and benefits. Fishing effort will be further regulated through licence limitation in each zone to prevent over-exploitation. In the first and second zones, fishing units not operated by the owners will be phased out and only fishing units operated by the owners will be permitted.

The management and conservation controls formulated also include a minimum mesh size for otter-trawl cod-ends of 38 mm (1.5 inch) internal-extension measure and a prohibition of the use of the beam trawl and the pair trawl. Use of explosive, poison or electrical devices to catch fish is prohibited. Collection of cockles by mechanical means is also prohibited.

Issue and problems

The management policy elaborated above is not based solely on conservation of stocks. Major consideration is given to economic, social and political aspects. The main criteria was to control excess capacity, taking into account socio-economic and political considerations. The objective mix of equity with efficiency and resource yields adds to complication in the judgement of the appropriateness of the types of required techniques. Further complications arose out of insufficient data for administrators to make decisions or to defend the policy and out of difficulties in attempting to enforce regulations which were politically and socially unpalatable. Unless the fishery administrators could gain the acceptance by fishermen of the policy measures and support at the political level, the task ahead seemed daunting and insurmountable.

Lack of adequate information

The success of fishery management measures depends to a large extent upon the acceptance of the need and value of the measures by those who will be affected and by politicians. The decision on allocations involves a trade-off between the trawlers and traditional fishermen and also the exclusion of excess fishermen from the industry are obviously political decisions. It will be difficult for fishery administrators to follow through on the management programmes unless they have full support at the political level. The problem here is to be able to convince the political leadership of the necessity for government intervention and of the benefits of such intervention.

Although the management measures were accepted by the government, there was still a lack of full comprehension of the unique problem of the common-property fishery resource and the necessity for government intervention. This prevailed not only outside the implementing agency itself but also among the officers of the implementing agency. Consequently, the necessary support was not forth-coming. Although there is also a question of taking the line of least resistance in the face of political and social pressure, the nagging doubts of the necessity and benefits of the interventions were uppermost in the mind of these people.

It is important that the measures, if they are to be acceptable, have a high degree of accuracy and be backed up with sound scientific facts. This, in the administrator's mind, is of great importance in order to gain credibility and acceptance for whatever control is proposed.

In the Malaysian context it was evident that undesirable changes had occurred in the fisheries and that resources, or at least important parts of them, were over-fished. However, it was not enough for the scientist to make a general reference to ‘over-exploitation’ or to the fact that the ‘maximum sustainable yield’ (MSY) has been over-shot. What is lacking in the Malaysian scenario is adequate information to lend credibility to the efforts of the fishery administrator, and to assist them to make the necessary and right decisions whenever confronted with a situation which has to be resolved expeditiously if that credibility is to be retained. Moreover, fishery statistics, both biological and socio-economic, are the basis on which all programmes in marine fisheries must depend and the accuracy and completeness of these statistics are of obvious importance.

Malaysia presently suffers from a paucity of both biological and socio-economical and technical information and their analysis in the fishery sector. Adequate information on resources under intensive exploitation and on unexploited resources in areas and sub-areas are unavailable. Collection of statistics in Malaysia is by sampling at landing points. There is no routine programme to obtain accurate statistics of the fleets' catch and efforts, through requirement of fishing-vessel operators to provide records of their operation. No applied research has been carried out on the various types of gears that are being operated and on the effect of the modification and innovation of these gears in the industry. The biology, locality and occurance of many of the various species of fish, prawn and mollusc that commonly occur in Malaysia are not known.

In the course of implementation of the management measures in 1981 and in 1982, the fishery administrators were confronted with the problem of not being able to estimate with confidence the number of licences to be issued for each fishery in each State and for sub-areas within the States. When trawler boats applied for additional seasonal licences to operate purse-seine nets, the administrators were unable to make a decision due to lack of information on the seasonality of the fish to be caught, the locality of the stocks and whether the present number of licences for purse seines could be increased. The advice given to the fishery administrators, that they could increase the number of purse-seine licences by an additional nine, was obviously inadequate. To whom could the fishery administrators issue the licences, to which States or sub-areas of the west coast, to what sizes of boats and for how many months? How was the figure of nine derived at? These were unaswered questions.

Information on the optimum size, horse-power and tonnage of boats to be recommended, to allow trawlers and purse seiners to fish effectively beyond the compulsory five-mile zone, was also unavailable. As a result, the fishery administrators were compelled to go on licensing boats below 10 GRT; they were not competent to make a decision on the matter though they suspected that these sizes of boats could not effectively operate using trawl nets in the deeper waters beyond five miles.

The fishery administrators also could not make a decision on the limitation of engine power, size and tonnage of boats to be imposed in the various fisheries, or on the replacement of old boats, as again adequate relevant information was not available.

Neither could they recommend alternative methods of operation for certain fisheries when they were compelled to ban certain destructive gears in use.

In short, the fishery administrators were in a ‘no win position’. Lack of information could not delay action to limit over-capacity; catch per unit effort series over the years showed a consistent downward trend, indicating considerable pressure on the fishery. On the other hand, they were not provided with sufficient information to support the management measures they were implementing or to allow them to make decisions in the course of their work. In such a situation the fishery administrators either chose to postpone the decisions or make them based on rough estimates of relevant conditions. In such an atmosphere it is not surprising that they were unable to retain their credibility with the politicians, the fishermen and their colleagues.

It is therefore necessary for Malaysia to be able to define the stocks available for exploitation by species and sub-areas, to determine the composition of the stocks and of the catches with respect to the abundance, age, size and sexual maturity, and to measure the effects of fishing on the stocks. Such information is necessary in order to measure the potential productivity of the stocks relative to their harvest capacity and to be able to predict the effects of alternative methods and levels of harvesting. It is also necessary for applied research on gear and boat operation and development to be initiated. Finally, information is required on the economic and social framework in which the Malaysian fisheries operate, such as cost and earnings of the various tpes of boats and gears to permit decision on licences fees, etc.

Poor linkages

It is also obvious that one of the main problems in Malaysia is the poor linkage between the Fisheries Research Section, the Statistics Section and the Management Section responsible for the planning and the execution of management policies and measures in the implementing agency.

It is without doubt that there needs to be a close linkage and rapport between these three sections. The latter needs much more regular and up-to-date information on what is happening to the resource and to the fishery, and the research and statistics sections need to be more closely focussed on providing these information. Also the needs of the research section for better information must be clearly spelled out and be taken into account in the design and conduct of the statistical collection programmes.

Financial assistance

A further impediment to actions to control excess capacity is that the policy and the personnel of the implementing agency prior to 1980 were attuned to increased fish production and raising the incomes of fishermen. Management personnel have not become fully aware of the urgency of the resource problem and of excess capacity. Moreover, faced with political and social opposition, it is only human for these people to take the line of least resistance. Policy decisions which were initiated earlier and have yet to be reviewed are not fully rational and consistent with the present management policy. A case in point is the subsidy programme for the fishery sector which was initiated in the 1970s and is still in operation in 1982. Subsidies for equipment and boats totalled $15.3 million in 1981 and $10.5 million in 1982.

In a recent reorganization of functions the Malaysian Government had decided to transfer the responsibility for subsidization to another agency, a quasi-government fishery body, one of whose tasks is to promote the socio-economic well-being of the fishing community. The question of coordinating the functions of the two government agencies serving the objective of controlling excess capacity in fishing effort would be a matter of utmost importance.

The subsidy programmes initiated in the 1970s were based on the reasoning that the promotion of boat ownership is a suitable measure for poverty eradication. There is, however, no clear cut emperical evidence that this is the case. All subsidized units of fishing boats were assured of a licence irrespective of the limitation imposed on fishing effort by the government. This capital-intensive strategy, together with easy entry conditions into the industry, have probably increased labour under-employment and exacerbated the poverty situation. These programmes serve as an incentive for resources to move into or for excess effort and resources to be retained in the marine fisheries sector, thus leading to further depletion of the stocks and lowering of income among inshore small-scale fishermen. The opposite is required if the problem of poverty and over-fishing is to be effectively dealt with.

Subsidies on boats, equipment and particularly diesel engines aggravate the inherently strong tendency in fisheries development toward excessive investment and effort. They thus contribute toward and accelarate deterioration of the resource and reduction of income among existing fishermen and thereby increase hardships in the long run.

Lack of coordination with other Agencies and Sectors

The fishery sector is part of the country's ecosystem and thus is subject to prevailing environmental, economic, social and political conditions in the community and society at large. The success of management programmes cannot depend on implementing them per se in isolation but must take into account the interplay of other activities within and outside the fishery sector. Often objectives and actions of other sectors conflict with those of the management objectives. These activities may not provide a condusive environment for the success of the management programmes and in fact often act as an impediment to the measures propounded.

The concept of over-capacity had been accepted by the government in general but what has been obviously absent in the implementation stage is a total commitment to the policy at all levels. Part of the blame is due to the non-involvement of other relevant agencies right from the planning to the implementation stage and that there has been no specific body, at a high enough level, to direct and coordinate the necessary actions of the various government agencies.

The success of a licence-limitation scheme depends to a large extent on reallocation of the excess fishermen from the fishery sector and this is dependent on the environment outside the fishery sector and also on the socio-economic conditions of the fishing community.

Over the long run, diversion of excess numbers of fishermen will be most successfully met by development of increased opportunities for satisfactory employment in non-fishing activities. On the other hand, the amount of entry into a fishery will be high if there are few satisfactory alternative opportunities for employment.

The fishing community is geographically isolated from the rest of the country and for relocation to be accomplished a condusive environment must be provided by the government.

Firstly, there is a requirement to increase the educational level of fishermen and their families to enhance their job opportunities. Secondly, training for skilled jobs, for example, in the construction and plantation sectors where there are high labour shortages, must be provided. There is a need for such training schemes to be specially initiated for the fishing community. Previous efforts for the transfer of fishermen under general land schemes organized by the government have been inadequate and efforts need to be made for such schemes to provide specifically for the fishing community.

All these requirements would involve the assistance of other government agencies such as the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia, which is in charge of socio-economic welfare, subsidization and finance for fishermen, the State Government which have authority over utilization of land, the Federal Land Development Authority responsible for land schemes, the agencies responsible for skilled training, the Ministry of Education, etc.

It is also important to ensure that other government agencies responsible for fishermen be made aware of the management policy and that an effort be made to see that their policies are not counter-active to the policy to remedy over-capacity.

Lack of incentives

Licence limitation requires a distributive decision. An incentive for compliance would obviously involve some form of compensation.

The fishery administrators are presently faced with the problem of enforcing the 5-mile and 12-mile zones for trawlers and purse-seiners below and above 40 GRT, respectively. The majority of these boats are below 10 GRT and it is suspected that such sizes of vessel can effectively operate outside the 5-mile zone in deeper waters. No compensation is included in this displacement programme. Fishery administrators find it difficult therefore to enforce this regulation. Those fishermen who can afford to build new boats to fish effectively in the new zone are reluctant to destroy their old boats. On the other hand, if the destruction of these old boats is not enforced, they all inevitably end up operating illegally.

Enforcement of this measure must therefore be facilitated by some form of compensation for those displaced or those being excluded. Without such incentives the cost of enforcing the measure may be comparatively high. However, before such a scheme can be initiated, there is a need for a study of the socio-economic profile of the fishermen involved.

The problem of enforcement

The final and most difficult problem relates to the obstacles faced in ensuring that the necessary regulations were complied with and to the cost of such effective enforcement.

Before 1980, enforcement was carried out on an ad hoc basis by the different State Directors of Fisheries. There was no link-up with other government agencies assisting in the enforcement of fishing activities.

In 1980 the enforcement unit of the Fisheries Department was enlarged and reorganized into four regionally-based sub-centres in Peninsular Malaysia. Three on the west coast, one of which covered both east and west coast and the last one in the northern region of the east coast. The number of patrol vessels increased from 15 in 1979 to 25 in 1982 and speed boats from 22 in 1980 to 39 in 1982. In 1983 there will be an additional six patrol vessels.

There is close liaison between the Marine Police, the Navy and the Fisheries Department, all three agencies being responsible for enforcement of fishery regulations in the territorial waters and EEZ. To facilitate this, ad hoc committees were formed in 1981 at Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and at the regional bases in the States.

The main problem faced in enforcement, however, comes from the lack of political will. Unless and until the fishery administrators gain the support of the politicians in their efforts to enforce the management regulations, effective enforcement will never be realized. In the case of a complaint from inshore fishermen in one of the States, the enforcement unit of the Fisheries Department took special operative actions and arrested 14 trawler boats caught blatantly infringing and operating in the 1–1½ mile zone. Subsequently the fines of these trawler fishermen were reduced to nominal sums.

One of the problems of enforcement has been the lack of facilities to maintain and store the boats arrested. Boats caught were released on nominal bonds by the court. These boats more often that not proceeded to continue their illegal operations, and sometimes were not surrendered to the authorities when they were directed by the court to be confiscated. Court action normally occurs after a period of one to two years.

From the outset, the enforcement of management maesures was beset with problems, one of these being the timing of the measures to be implemented. Action could have been much easier if taken before over-capacity had already set in.

In Malaysia's case over-capacity already existed, not only in terms of licensed boats but in quite a substantial number of illegal boats which have been operating for as long as three to four years undisturbed by the authorities for a number of reasons. One of the reasons was that enforcement was not organized and therefore non-effective prior to 1980. Secondly, government personnel in charge of fisheries were more attuned to the policy of production rather than management of over-capacity. There was therefore no urgency for effective enforcement of the management regulations then and the result is that these illegal boats are now a part of the status quo, and to remove them would not be socially or politically acceptable.

When the licence limitation scheme was implemented, very small-scale inshore fishermen operating small boats called ‘sampans’ were not taken into account. These part-time fishermen were responsible for less than one percent of the total catch. Their catches supplemented their meagre income from other sources and fishing comes automatically to them as they live along the coast, and the small ‘sampsans’ were cheap to build. Enforcement of the regulation in their case, therefore, was undesirable and also impractical as they were scattered all over outlying places in remote areas often inaccessible by patrol craft.

Remedial actions taken

The Fisheries Department of Malaysia is very much aware that accurate appraisal of the status of the stocks and of the fisheries that harvest them is a number-one priority for effective management and development of the fisheries.

It sees the need for a linkage between the Management Section of the implementing agency and the Research Section.

The first step it has taken in this direction is to give a mandate to the Management Section to coordinate activity with the Statistics Section and Research Section, involving the types of statistics to be collected and the applied research to be carried out. The Management Section has also been given the mandate to direct and coordinate the relevant sections to assist it in solving the day-to-day resource problems it is confronted with and to carry out applied research work in anticipation of any regulation programme to be implemented.

For 1983 the Management Section is setting up an Intellegence Unit which will be responsible in conjunction with the Research and Statistics Sections to supply all relevant information and analysis on the Malaysian fisheries resource. This unit will also be responsible for the introduction, on a pilot basis, of a log-book system in some of the more advanced elements of the Malaysian fleet. It will also be responsible for monitoring the fishing effort of foreign fishing vessels or joint-venture vessels which may be licensed in the future. Part of its task also will be to look into computerization of the data on licensed boats and on the setting-up of a monitoring, control and surveillance system in territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone.

The Statistics Section of the implementing agency is in the process of reorganizing its structure and is looking into the possibility of using computers in data collection.

The Research Section is also in the process of being reorganized to meet the tasks required of it. “Effective conduct of such tasks would involve dedication of a substantial portion of the governments marine research capability to ‘mission-oriented’ work closely tied in with the Implementing Agencies management programmes” (Preliminary Report of FAO/MCS Mission on the EEZ of Malaysia). However, what is disturbing to the Management Section of the Fisheries Department is a proposal to set up a separate Fisheries Research Board which would have overall responsibility for fisheries research in Malaysia. Surely the knowledge of the disadvantages of establishing a separate research body, which may not respond effectively to the urgent needs of the administration and of the expanded responsibilities of the Fisheries Department for the management of the EEZ (requiring as they do, more research information), makes a very strong argument for tying research even more closely to fisheries administration rather than separating them. It is hoped that the disadvantages of this proposal will be realised and taken into account when the final decision is made.

A decision has been made to issue (personal) to-holder licences to the very small-scale inshore fishermen operating ‘sampans’. These licences will allow them to fish solely for the purpose of their daily requirements. Their small catches are not expected to affect the resource situation.

A survey of all illegal boats which had been operating for the last three to four years had also been carried out in 1982, and a decision would have to be made in 1983 whether to license them or not. There is strong political pressure to license these illegal boats on the reasoning that they have been in operation for a number of years. There is a promise of political support for enforcement of a ban on illegal operations subsequent to the legalizing of the present lot.

In such a case the enforcement unit of the Fisheries Department is again in a “no win position”.

The Malaysian Government is taking steps to locate some alternative source of imployment in the Fisheries Sector itself; by promoting aquaculture and liberalizing licences for deep-sea fishing.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The most important element for the success of the management measures elucidated above is that they need to be supported through the political process. Without such support, fishery administrators will find it difficult if not impossible to adopt and implement effective management measures. The gaining of this support is an important step for the administrators.

Secondly, there is a need for the coordination of all relevant government agencies that are involved directly or indirectly with fisheries development in order to ensure that their policies and activities are not counter-productive to the management policies and measures taken. The continued subsidization of various elements of fishing effort in terms of existing low-cost loans, subsidies, etc. should be critically reviewed as to objectives and consequences, subordinated to the main task of resource conservation and management, and perhaps drastically reduced. As has been pointed out earlier, these measures instead of alleviating poverty may only exacerbate it.

There is also an urgent need to get the involvement of other agencies in the reallocation of excess fishermen through such programmes as those for creating alternative job opportunities, providing skilled training in fishing communities and the initiation of a special land scheme for fishermen.

What would be required perhaps is the formation of a high-level committee of civil servants from the various relevant ministries and agencies. This committee would then be given the mandate to direct and coordinate the various activities of the government in reallocating the excess fishermen. In short, there needs to be a total commitment to this task at a very high level.

There is a further need to look into compensation for the fishermen to be reallocated or excluded from the fishery sector. In this context, what would also be required is a survey of the economic profile of the fishermen affected by the management measures implemented.

There is a need to review the licence fees being levied presently. These fees are not commensurate with the catching power and effort of the fleet. It only takes two Malaysian ringgit (equivalent roughly to one American dollar) for a licence to fish. A high licence fee, specifically related to the catching power of trawlers and purse seiners should be imposed.

There is, finally, an urgent need to develop the capability of the Management and Research personnel of the implementing agency in their area of work, by providing the necessary facilities and training requirements. At present, very low priority is being given to this important aspect; one cannot hope to implement successful management policies without properly trained manpower.

It is without doubt that the fishing effort in Malaysia is excessive and over-capacity exists. A shortfall in the support necessary for the management measures proposed should not be an excuse for delaying action. The various problems discussed above show that there is a need for Malaysia to seriously study the various impediments faced by fishery administrators in the formulation and implementation of management programmes in order to ensure the effectiveness of the management measures taken.

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