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Saturday 19 April 2014

Fishing offences on the rise

SINGAPORE: Fishing enthusiasts said more people are hooked on the sport and many are heading overseas to reel in a good catch.

In Singapore, anglers are also heading to its reservoirs.

But here, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) said that on average, some 240 to 250 people a year have been booked for fishing offences in recent years.

These include fishing at non-designated areas and using live baits.

Every quarter, Singapore's top fishing community sees some 200 to 300 new anglers. According to aficionados, they are getting younger too.

Scott Tan, president of Gamefish & Aquatic Rehabilitation Society, said: "Especially among the younger generation, there is a very big uptake… Nobody really did (statistics) on how many fishermen there are, but if we go by informal (online) forums like Fishing Kaki alone, it has 350,000 registered members who are active."

Sport fishing can be costly.

At the lower range, getting started could cost you about $$100, and heading overseas can cost as much as $$20,000 a trip.

Mr Tan said: “Sport fishing can be done very cheap. We have sets at S$100, S$300. But if you're going for stuff like… tuna, marlin, your S$10,000 comes in here. (For) big game fish, you need to hire a sea boat to get out there to catch fish. Also, sometimes, (there are) areas where you require helicopters -- that's when S$10,000, S$20,000 comes in.”

It is no surprise that many turn to Singapore’s reservoirs for a cheaper fix.

There are 17 reservoirs in Singapore and of them, 10 are open to the public for fishing activities while only six are open to the public for water activities.

PUB said some of the reservoirs, including Jurong Lake Reservoir and Bedok Reservoir, not only allow for fishing but also canoeing and other water activities.

But fishing in illegal areas here is a growing problem, and Mr Tan thinks he knows why.
He said: "(For example at Lower Seletar Reservoir), we can't get any fish at all… Not only is it fished out, but fishes have a certain memory that once they sense there's a lot of fishing going on (in an area), they will totally avoid the area altogether. They move around and that's when you'll have a problem because as they move around, the sport fishermen will follow.”

But PUB said specific areas are carved out for safety reasons.

Roderick Ho, senior engineer at PUB’s catchment and waterways department, said: "We want to take care of the anglers' safety so we made sure we chose an area which is not steep. Secondly, the area must not pose a risk, not only to the anglers but also to the general public and water activity users."

PUB said those caught fishing outside designated areas or using live baits in reservoirs will be fined S$50 on their first offence and S$200 on their second offence.

On subsequent offences, offenders may be fined up to S$3,000.


  1. Catch big fish or small fish. We have to choose our fishing spots to catch. Same like long-term investing.

  2. "... those caught fishing outside designated areas or using live baits in reservoirs will be fined ..."

    Just need to ensure fishing spots to catch are within the designated area.
    Cannot just doing it like long term investing, go by your own rules?


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