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Fishermen fear for future as Malaysia mulls Penang reclamation by Kate Mayberry June 10,2019   |  Source: Al Jazeera

People from the villages hugging Penang's southern coast have fished the seas off the Malaysian island for generations, scooping up prawns and digging out crabs to feed its food-loving residents.

The fishermen know the vagaries of tide and wind, and the dangers of the monsoon that sweeps in each June.

But now their existence is under threat.

The government of the state of Penang wants to create three artificial islands covering 1,821 hectares off the gently curving bays where the fishermen live and work to help pay for an ambitious $11bn transport plan to ease traffic congestion, improve public transit services and relieve what it says is development pressure on the hilly and forested island.

The state includes parts of the mainland, connected by two bridges as well as a ferry service, but most tourists are drawn to the family-friendly beach resorts on the island's northern coast, the colonial-era capital of George Town and the rainforest-topped hills.

Assuming the three-island project gets the green light by the federal government, the construction of the islands and the subsequent development of an industrial park, housing estates and green public spaces would take between 30 and 50 years.

"This is the golden place in Penang," explained Zakaria Ismail, a

 

© 2019 Al Jazeera Media Network

Theme(s): Others, Post Harvest Technology and Trade, Fisheries Resources, Freshwater ecosystems and threats, Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods, Fisheries Development and Aquaculture, Communities and Organisations, Landing Centres, Coastal Ecosystems and Threats.

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