Malaysia bans export of five types of fish

Straits Times 16 Jul 13;

JOHOR BARU - The Malaysian authorities have suspended the export of five types of fish to overseas markets, including Singapore, for up to two months.

The ban, imposed without prior notice for unspecified reasons, came into effect last Wednesday and will continue until Sept10, China Press reported.

Fish included in the export ban are kembung, pelaling, cencaru, selayang and selar, the report said.

At a press conference held on Sunday, fish distributors for Singapore said that they, as well as their transport operators, had received a notice from Malaysia's Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) informing them of the ban about three days before it came into effect.

The operators send about 20 lorries of the five types of fish to Singapore daily. Last Wednesday, lorries transporting a consignment of fish to Singapore were stopped by Malaysian Customs.

Speaking at the press conference, the distributors said they hoped the Malaysian authorities would look into the matter and ensure that the ban would not affect their livelihoods, or have any impact on the economy.

Johor Democratic Action Party chief and Skudai state assemblyman Boo Cheng Hau, who was present at the press conference, urged the LKIM to inform operators in advance about such bans in future to give them time to adjust.

The official LKIM website did not mention the ban although an announcement was posted on its official Facebook page, reports said.

Malaysia's Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry also did not display any notices on the ban on its website.

Transport operators said the ban was due to the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival, although no official reasons were given by the authorities.

Malaysia bans export of 5 types of fish to Singapore 16 Jul 13;

Malaysia's Fisheries Department has announced a sudden ban on the exports of five species of oceanic fish to Singapore.

The ban will last for two months.

Malaysian newspapers report that the banned fish are: kembung, pelaling, cencaru, selayang and selar.

Exports of these fish account for about 20 per cent of Singapore's supply of fresh fish.

It is believed that the ban is meant to ease the shortage of such fish during the Ramadan fasting period.

The sudden ban has taken many fish merchants by surprise, leaving them unable to ship their stock through the Johor Customs in time.

They stand to suffer major losses as a result.

Fish wholesaler, Lim Ah Lik, imports as much as three tonnes of the five kinds of fish from Malaysia every day.

The sudden ban has resulted in a large batch of his stock getting stuck in Malaysia.

He had to sell them there instead at a huge loss.

Mr Lim said the fish typically fetch about $3 to $6 per kg in Singapore, but prices have been rising since last week.

He expects to see prices rise further in the coming days.

Mr Lim said the affected fish merchants will meet on Wednesday to discuss the matter.