Public catches net full of fond memories at fishing competition
Monday, December 14, 2009

A 970-GRAMME grouper caught just five minutes after Fisheries Director Hjh Hasnah Ibrahim flagged the beginning of the Brunei International Sport Fishing Competition 2009 (Fishcomp Brunei 2009) yesterday at Tungku Beach made Mohd Jamaluddin Abdullah champion of both the competition's Individual Category and the Fastest Catch Category.

"It must be my lucky day," Mohd Jamaluddin exclaimed upon collecting his prizes of $700 in cash, trophies and assorted fishing gear.

Meanwhile, the Sembaran Team won the team category with their collective catch of 2,530 grammes for the day.

In the Casting Accuracy Category, Adiman Musa was closest to the target with a distance of 54cm while his competitors, Kamarul and Md Danial Lim fought for second and third place with distances of 62cm and 64cm from the target, respectively.

Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar was on hand to present the prizes to the winners together with Alfred Yong of Captain Fred Fishing and Marine Supply.

About 240 people registered for the competition, which is in its eighth year since the annual competition was introduced in conjunction with Visit Brunei Year 2001. However, this was the third time that the competition was co-organised by the Department of Fisheries and Captain Fred Fishing and Marine Supply.

The Fisheries Director told The Brunei Times that the competition hoped to achieve three main objectives, namely to promote sportsfishing as a popular past-time and recreational activity among Bruneians; to develop sportsfishing as a commercial activity which can contribute to the country's economy through eco-tourism; and to foster good relations among contestants and fishing enthusiasts in the country.

Hjh Hasnah added that the competition was also aimed at promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP), as evident through the success and increased popularity of the competition over the past three years.

Captain Fred Fishing and Marine Supply's owner Alfred Yong remarked that this year's competition has done better than last year's, which saw the participation of about 180 fishermen.

An estimated 2,500 people, with figures based on lucky draw tickets handed out to the public upon entry, descended to witness the competition as well as to enjoy and participate in the various sideline activities held in conjunction with the Fishcomp Brunei 2009.

Parasailing, banana boat rides and flying fish were among the water games available to entertain the public. While on land, families had the chance to take part in guessing games, coconut bowling, fishing in a tank as well as learn more about fisheries from the exhibits set up and purchase fishing gear from the stalls.

A tug-of-war contest was also held between the Fisheries Department and Captain Fred Fishing and Marine Supply, of which the department emerged as victors in both the male and female categories.

The Brunei Times