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 on Monday (Dec 17).
He said the "kembung" (mackerel), "selar" (trevally), "pelaling" (Indian mackerel) and "bawal" (Pomfret) fish and shrimp will be prohibited from export from Jan 1 to Feb 28, 2019.
Three associations - the National Fishermen’s Association (NEKMAT), Kedah Fishermen’s Association (NEKAD) and Besut Area Fishermen’s Association (PNK BESUT) - will be entrusted with the storage of frozen fish and moving the supply throughout the country, he told a press conference at Parliament House.
“At present, frozen fish stocks amount to 400 tonnes at the three storage centres,” he said.
Salahuddin also said that the government will allow monsoon trawling in January and February 2019 for operators of traditional vessels of 15 GRT (gross registered tonnage) in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor to fish for shrimp, provided the vessels are equipped with the turtle excluder device (TED).
“There are 148 monsoon trawlers in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and eastern Johor. The Fisheries Department has also received 45 new applications which meet the conditions.
“According to statistics, Malaysia landed 115,000 tonnes of shrimp in 2017, with monsoon trawlers contributing three per cent of that volume,” he said.