KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian government will prohibit the export of four species of wild-caught fish and shrimp to meet the shortage in the market during the monsoon and festive seasons, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub said yesterday.
He said the export of "kembung" (mackerel), "selar" (trevally), "pelaling" (Indian mackerel) and "bawal" (pomfret) fish, as well as shrimp, will be prohibited from Jan 1 to Feb 28 next year, reported Bernama.
Three associations - the National Fishermen's Association, Kedah Fishermen's Association and Besut Area Fishermen's Association - will be entrusted with the storage of frozen fish and moving the supply throughout the country, he told a news conference at Parliament House.
"At present, frozen fish stocks amount to 400 tonnes at the three storage centres," he said.
Mr Salahuddin also said that the government will allow monsoon trawling for shrimp next January and February by operators of traditional 15 GRT (gross registered tonnage) vessels in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor, provided the vessels are equipped with a turtle excluder device.
"There are 148 monsoon trawlers in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor," he said.
"According to statistics, Malaysia landed 115,000 tonnes of shrimp in 2017, with monsoon trawlers contributing 3 per cent of that volume," he added.
Last week, Malaysia's Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the country is looking into limiting or stopping the export of eggs to ensure a sufficient supply for the domestic market.
Approximately 73 per cent of Singapore's eggs are from Malaysia, according to Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), with around a quarter produced in Singapore. AVA said supplies remain unaffected for now, and there are plans in place to acquire eggs from elsewhere if need be.