MMEA receives training to operate acoustic deterrent device

KOTA KINABALU: Maritime personnel learned how to chase away intruding vessels using a piece of equipment that emits extremely loud sound in a four-day training with a Japanese governmental agency here.

Some 30 officers and personnel members from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) took part in the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and United Nationa Convention On The Law Of The Sea (Unclos) workshops with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) starting from Jan 9 in the waters off the state capital.

MMEA deputy director-general (logistics) Vice-Admiral Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim said the workshops were part of the initiative of the memorandum of agreement on the capacity building and training project as well as fostering cooperation between neighbouring countries signed between MMEA and Jica in 2018.

Saiful said the workshops on the MMEA vessel KM Arau also involved training sessions to operate the long-range acoustics device (LRAD).

“It emits a very loud blaring noise that causes discomfort to targets,” he said in a statement here on Friday (Jan 13).

“This device is used as a tool to drive away intruding vessels that refuse to cooperate or act aggressively,” he added.

He said the training was also aimed at equipping enforcement authorities on how to handle the device besides testing its effective range on vessels encroaching into the country’s waters.

Earlier, the MMEA received four LRADs contributed by the Japanese government during the launching of the IUU and Unclos workshops.

The four devices would be fitted on offshore patrol vessels (OPV) belonging to the MMEA that operate along Malaysian maritime borders.

“With this joint initiative, the MMEA is confident it will be able to improve its capabilities in dealing with matters of intrusion involving foreign fishing vessels as well as enforcing the maritime security aspects,” Saiful said.