From The Straits Times Archives: Malaysia's ban of fish exports is not a new thing

Over the weekend,  Bernama news agency reported Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as saying that the country will not export fish as it is anticipating a supply shortage during the monsoon season.

Malaysia will not export several types of fish, including cencaru, selar, selayang and kembung, to Singapore and Thailand. 

This is the second time this year that Malaysia has banned fish exports. 

Here are some stories from The Straits Times' archives on the issue. 

1. Malaysia halts fish exports in face of shortage

Frozen selar fish. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

This story was first published on Jan 14, 2014

The Straits Times' Malaysia correspondent Lester Kong reported that choppy seas and bad weather had beached thousands of fishermen in Malaysia, causing a shortage in fish supplies. 

As a result, the Malaysian government suspended exports of fish until March. The country usually exports about 30,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen fish to Singapore each month.

They include kembung (Indian mackerel), cencaru (hardtail scad), selar (one-finlet scad) and its yellow variant.

Read more

2. Malaysia government bans fish exports to control prices 

This story was first published on Jan 13, 2014

Malaysia's Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that six types of fish - kembung, selar, kerisi (bream), cencaru, tamban (greenback) and selar kuning - would not be exported due to shortages in Malaysia because of the monsoon season. 

Singapore typically imports Indian mackerel (kembung), hardtail scad (cencaru), one-finlet scad (selar) and its yellow variant from Malaysia.

Read more. 

3. Prices of some fish set to rise after KL export ban

This story was first published on Jul 17, 2013

As a result of a ban on fish exports, Singapore consumers had to pay between 10 to 30 per cent more for their fish. 

Consumer correspondent Jessica Lin reported that fish importers in Singapore had to pay at least 20 per cent more for their fish supplies and fishmongers at wet markets were passing costs on to the consumer. 

The supermarket chains and importers were also turning to Thailand and Indonesia to meet the shortfall in supplies. 

Read more. 

4. Malaysia bans export of five types of fish

Shoppers in the fresh fish section at the Sheng Siong supermarket in Bedok on Feb 25, 2011. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM 

This story was first published on Jul 16, 2013

Malaysia's Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) sent a notice to Singapore fish importers three days before a ban on the export of five types of fish went into effect. 

About 20 lorries full of the five types of fish are imported into Singapore every day. 

There was no official reason given for the ban on export. 

Read more.