Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on bandoned, Lost or Discarded Fishing Gear by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider stepping up action against abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear given reports that an abandoned fishing net on Pulau Semakau has caused the deaths of 14 blacktip reef sharks in May 2023.
1 To mitigate the risk of bycatch arising from the commercial use of fishing nets, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) requires licensed fishing vessels and commercial fishery players to obtain a fishing gear licence. SFA is studying the need and effectiveness of other measures to better address concerns over abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear.
2 To protect our marine biodiversity, the National Parks Board (NParks) works closely with local fishing communities to promote sustainable and responsible fishing. This includes encouraging members of the public to practice catch-and-release fishing, and to avoid fishing at areas with rich marine biodiversity such as intertidal flats and coral reefs. Signages are also placed at popular fishing spots to educate fishers and encourage best practices. The use of nets and wire mesh traps for fishing is also restricted in public parks, including marine parks, as well as national parks, and nature reserves.