Community Education Environment People

Rizo says “NO fish bombing” in artwork during surfing festival

SABAHAN Rizo Leong, who makes name in the international game as a woodcut artist, says “No Fish Bombing” through his artwork during a recent Borneo Surf Festival at Simpang Mengayau in Kudat.

Fish bombing is rampant at 36 areas in Sabah, the marine police authority said.

While some fishermen find that the method is the easiest way to catch fish due to limited fish stocks in the sea, their action has caused a blow to tourism industry when China tourists died while scuba diving in Semporna.

Authorities have since beefed up their efforts to further curb the illegal fishing activities and the selling of bombed fishes at wet markets.

Borneo Surf Festival at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau in Kudat
Borneo Surf Festival

Rizo tells Borneo Echo how he is doing his parts by using his skill to campaign against the practice.

Why do you choose Borneo Surf Festival as a platform to showcase your artwork?

Ans: Borneo Surf Festival is one of the international events held in Borneo. It is one of the chances to send the message to public. It is also because fish bombing often occurs at most marine areas in Sabah.

How are you going to send your message?

Through art, we could raise this issue (fish bombing) to get attention from the public.

Fish bombing is not only endangering human beings but also killing the marine life and destroying marine ecosystem and corals.

Through social media, the message can be sent to many and (hopefully) stop the practice.

Rizo Leong "Stop Fish Bombing"
Bold font is used to convey “warning” message with fishes’ shocked and tortured expression. Picture by Rizo Leong

How long did you work on the fish bombing?

I took about a day to complete the artwork which I had consulted with divers and community at the islands in Sabah.

When Rizo uploaded his work on his Instagram post, many of his fans commented it would be cool to have those messages printed on their shirts and hoping that in future it can also be translated to Bahasa to better educate the local community.

Stop Fishing T=Shirt and Artwork
Picture by Rizo Leong

Besides conservation, Rizo, who is also one of the founders of Borneo art collective Pangrok Sulap, has also been passionate to share messages regarding Sabah issues such as the controversial Kaiduan/Papar dam, climate change, local politics and the culture of Sabahans among others.

Note: Pangrok Sulap is a local pronunciation of the English words “Punk Rock” and Sulap means traditional hut in Kadazan-dusun language.

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