Sufficient supply of seafood despite Jurong Fishery Port closure; shoppers urged to widen seafood choices: Grace Fu

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu during a visit to Jurong Cold Store on July 21, 2021. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

SINGAPORE - Shoppers are advised to widen their choices and sources of seafood in order to ease the effects of short-term disruptions on Singapore's chilled seafood supply, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.

She added that the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is working with the Singapore Fish Merchants' General Association and wholesalers to ensure alternative supplies are brought in by land and air.

"We're also looking at alternative distribution centres being set up, and major supermarket chains have stepped up their stocks and orders so there's sufficient supply at their stores," said Ms Fu, after a visit to the Jurong Cold Store on Wednesday (July 21). There, she had a look at storage facilities and stocks of frozen seafood, including frozen shrimps, sea bass and groupers.

The Jurong Fishery Port (JFP), which handles about 30 per cent of the nation's seafood imports, including those that arrive by land and air, is closed till July 31, following the emergence of a Covid-19 cluster there.

The two-week closure is meant to help break the chain of Covid-19 transmission and enable deep cleaning. It has also impacted all stallholders selling fresh fish and seafood at markets managed by the National Environment Agency or operators appointed by the agency.

They have been told to stop selling until they get a negative result from a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test.

Ms Fu said the cluster has impacted Singapore's supply chain.

"We want to review how transmission has taken place by working closely with MOH (Ministry of Health). We are reviewing the SMM (safe management measures), including our CCTV footage, to ensure that we identify gaps, if there are any, and address them before we reopen JFP," she said.

Ms Fu also urged all workers of the hawker centres and markets affected to go for their Covid-19 tests and get vaccinated. She added that mandatory SafeEntry check-in requirements will be enforced at all wet markets and hawker centres islandwide to help in contact tracing.

Infections were detected at 35 markets and food centres as at Tuesday night. There were 451 cases linked to the Jurong Fishery Port cluster as at Wednesday afternoon.

Correction note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the Singapore Fish Merchants' General Association.

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