Bureaucratic problems among causes of insufficient fish supply, says fisheries authority

BUKIT GANTANG: Bureaucratic problems and weakness in the delivery system have been identified as among the factors that contribute to the shortage of fish supply in the country.

Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (FDAM) chairman Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal said the shortage of fish supply would continue if these issues were not addressed properly.

“This situation has also led to the increase in fish prices,” he told a press conference at the FDAM chairman’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at Dewan Bunga Raya, Changkat Jering on Friday (May 27) night.

On May 22, National Fishermen’s Association (Nekmat) chairman Abdul Hamid Bahari said the number of fish landings, especially in northern Peninsular Malaysia, had decreased by 70 per cent, from more than a million tonnes to about 300,000 tonnes a month due to unpredictable weather conditions over the past two months.

Syed Abu Hussin said the issues of fish supply shortage had also been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, Ministry of Finance and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), but there had been no response so far.

“Up till now, FDAM has not started storing fish despite having frozen fish storage facilities. Frozen fish can last up to two years,” he said.

Syed Abu Hussin said preparations should be made by buying more fish to be stored due to the low fish stock.- Bernama