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Mersing turns from fishing town to swiftlet farm

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Mersing turns from fishing town to swiftlet farm

Post Number:#1  Postby timyang » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:29 am

MERSING, Johor: With its extensive coastline, the fishing town of Mersing has always been a haven for diving and marine enthusiasts heading for the pristine and scenic islands off its shores.

Many people might be aware that Mersing used to be nothing more than just a rustic fishing town. However, over the past 10 years, the town has experienced gradual transformation as more and more people are jumping onto the swiftlet farming bandwagon.

As a matter of fact, Mersing was not rich in fish and shrimp catches during the early years, and the people there were not involved in the fishing industry.

It was said that Mersing was named after a Sikh fugitive escaping from Johor's old royal town of Kota Tinggi. Since he was one of the pioneer of the town, the place was named after him.

The early settlement, situated about three or four miles upriver from today's Mersing town, was under the jurisdiction of Endau at that time, and the local residents planted gambir for living.

Start of swiftlet farming industry

The general manager of a local swiftlet farming business Mr Xu Guanren told Guang Ming Daily the costal area of Mersing was a perfect site for swiftlet farming due to its weather and environment.

As a consequence, many investors have flocked to the town due to the lucrative profits of this business. Many farmers have brought in their technology and swiftlet house designs in hope of getting the best returns for their investments.

The first phase of bird's nest production and breeding centre developed by the company has four separate buildings with a total of 28 swiftlet houses, and additional 34 swiftlet houses will be developed under the second phase.

Xu said his company planned to sell some of the swiftlet houses, with a long-term plan of offering one-stop services for the swiftlet farming industry, including marketing, imports and exports, along with eco-tourism development in a bid to stimulate the local tourism industry.

Sluggish development due to poor connectivity

Located on the east coast of Johor, Mersing is the least developed among the eight districts in the state. Due to the absence of highway connection, industrial development here is slow and many young people prefer to go elsewhere for better job opportunities.

Compared to other districts in the state, Mersing may still be in an early stage of development, but it is in no way inferior in terms of tourism resources.

"Highway is an important infrastructure for social and economic development. The road links to JB and Kluang are still the old roads, and many potential investors have been put off by the poor connectivity and transportation infrastructure in Mersing.”

Local residents claimed that there were indeed industrial investments in Mersing, but owing to its poor connectivity, many of them had left after some time. Unless this issue is addressed, further developments would be constrained, they said.

Discovery of gold

At around 10pm on November 25, 1956, a massive storm brought down some 50 kelongs off the coast of Mersing. Fishermen working at the kelongs could not escape and were drowned.

The incomplete bodies of these victims were later discovered by the rescuers and voluntary searchers.

A monument was set up and the bodies were later buried en masse at the local Chinese cemetery.

The disastrous event aside, Mersing is also well-known for gold mining.

More than 10 years ago, news of gold discovery spread around the town, and many prospectors flocked to Mersing in search of the precious metal. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm was later tamed as it was found that gold mining was not economically feasible while the local police started to arrest illegal prospectors.

Just when gold was slowly drifting into oblivion among the local residents,. it was again rumoured that gold deposits were found in Mersing’s Sri Pantai in November 2007. The news instantly lured huge crowds of prospectors, and many foreigners also descended to the town with the hope of catching on the gold rush. Sri Pantai became a tourist hotspot in Mersing overnight.

Last July, the enforcement unit of Johor Forestry Department arrested 22 illegal gold prospectors at Bukit Tenggaroh, showing that prospectors indeed still saw Mersing as a magnet for gold mining.

Deepwater port

Mersing boasts magnificent beaches, and is the departure point for several offshore islands in South China Sea. Therefore, local residents have been looking forward to a deepwater port but unfortunately it is yet to be built today.
According to local residents, ferries cannot dock at the existing jetty during low tide due to the shallow riverbed. If the proposed deepwater port is completed, visitors will then be able to board the ferries anytime of the day.

White sandy beaches

Mersing's many beautiful and natural beaches have attracted a lot of visitors during weekends as well as public holidays.

Marine life is under protection here, and the beaches here boast fine white sand, turquoise blue water and leafy trees growing along the coast.

The Air Papan beach located about 15 km from the Mersing town, is a perfect getaway for beach-goers and fishing enthusiasts with its crystal clear water and a wide range of accommodation and recreational facilities.

Along the coast, there are many shops selling local products, restaurants and stalls.
Last edited by SuperAdmin on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic author

Re: Mersing turns from fishing town to swiftlet farming

Post Number:#2  Postby decimal86 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:20 pm

"It was said that Mersing was named after a Sikh fugitive escaping from Johor's old royal town of Kota Tinggi. Since he was one of the pioneer of the town, the place was named after him."

this article is kidding right?
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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