The price of subsidised diesel and petrol for fishermen will be reduced from RM1.43 per litre to RM1.30 per litre effective Dec 16, a 13 sen drop.

Agriculture and AgroBased Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said in a statement on Saturday, that with the new price, the government would have to bear additional cost of about RM197 million annually.

Mustapa said the government would maintain the RM200 monthly cost of living allowance for fishing vessel operators and fishermen on licensed vessels as with the incentive of 10 sen per kg given for the catch landed.

The reduction in price of subsidised diesel and petrol would mean savings in fuel cost of RM260 – RM4,160 monthly depending on the fishing zone and vessel size.

“Traditional net vessels operating in Zone A (up to 5 nautical miles) will save RM260 monthly, dragnet vessels in Zone B (512 nautical miles) will save RM2,600 monthly.

“Dragnet vessels in Zone C (1230 nautical miles) will save RM3,120 monthly and dragnet vessels in Zone C2 (over 30 nautical miles) will save RM4,160 monthly.”

Mustapa said the government had on Nov 3 increased the subsidised diesel and petrol quota from 106 million litre monthly to 126 million litre to accommodate the issuance of 15,900 new fishing vessel licences by the Fisheries Department.

“Following requests from dragnet vessel operators, the government also approved additional quota of 4,000 litres monthly to vessels fishing in Zone C dan C2.”

He said the price reduction and additional diesel and petrol quota should give fishermen higher returns due to the costs saved. – Bernama