| Danial Norjidi |
THE Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) yesterday held a special dialogue session with farmers and fishermen at the multipurpose hall in Serambangun, Tutong.
The dialogue session was held in conjunction with the 2014 celebration of Farmers and Fishermen’s Day, and is the second of a series of dialogues that are taking place in each of the country’s four districts, following the first which occurred on November 8 in Temburong.
Yesterday’s session saw welcoming remarks delivered by Abdul Halidi bin Mohd Salleh, the Acting Director of Fisheries, who said, “The aim of holding this celebration in all four districts is to, among others, raise public awareness regarding the activities that are being carried out by the Department of Fisheries.”
He stressed the importance of national food security, highlighting that the Department of Fisheries has a number of strategies and programmes to improve commodity yield and value-added fishery products.
He went on to express his hope for farmers and fishermen to have a high level of commitment to create produce that is of high quality, safe and accepted in both local and foreign markets by increasing the understanding of using Asean Good Aquaculture Practices.
He also affirmed that fishermen need to consider the environment and carry out responsible fishing activities and avoid causing pollution to rivers or damaging breeding grounds of fish.
Following the remarks, presentations by officers from the Department of Fisheries ensued, dealing with the topic “Towards Sustainable Fisheries Resources”, as well as discussing various facets of the Fisheries Order 2009.
The presentations centred on issues pertaining to fishing bans in the areas of Bruneian waters, the importation of sharks from overseas and the identified marine protected areas which are to be enforced by 2015.
A third presentation was delivered by the Department of Immigration and National Registration, detailing Chapter 17 of the Immigration Act and Regulations.
The proceedings continued with a dialogue session, which gave farmers and fishermen the opportunity to share their thoughts and raise any concerns and ask any questions they had in their mind.
In addition to these sessions, the event also featured a small exhibition, featuring information on the Fisheries Order 2009, an explanation as to what is prohibited and allowed, and why, as well as long term employment opportunities in the fisheries industry in the capturing, aquaculture and processing sectors.