KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) has frozen the export of the popular local fish to ensure adquate supply of the marine products during the El Nino phenomenon.
Its chairman, Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim said the move became effective from Dec 1 last year to Feb 29 to ensure stable prices of fish.
“For the time being, LKIM has frozen the export of fish such as cencaru (torpedo scad), kembong (indian mackerel), selar (bigeye scad), selayang (sardine), pelaling (indian mackerel) and kerisi (bream) to ensure sufficient supply.
“We do not want any parties to take advantage by raising prices of fish despite complaints by some fishermen on the hot weather following the El Nino season,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
The El Nino phenomenon or hot season affecting the country now have resulted in the fluctuation of fish and vegetable prices.
Meanwhile, a Bernama survey at Chow Kit and Datuk Keramat markets here today revealed the prices of fish had gone up by between RM2 to RM3 compared to their usual prices.
A Chow Kit fishmonger, Amri Sulaiman, 52, said the prices of fish were uncertain according to the type of fish.
“Today, the prices are slightly higher and this is normal, depending on the types of fish, deep frozen fish are cheaper while local fresh fish are expensive. We cannot sell any cheaper as the wholesalers are charging higher prices,” he said.
Meanwhile a Datuk Keramat market trader, Kamarulzaman Awang, 51, said the fish bought by traders had been set by wholesalers and, as such, there were constraints in setting the price for customers.
“Buyers are complaining fish are expensive but there is nothing we can do as the wholesalers had determined the prices. In the past, we could buy fish in bulk of 100 kilogrammes for RM300 but now it has shot above RM1,200 per 100 kilogrammes of fish.”
On the prices of vegetables in the market, Vegetable Farmers Association Federation executive assistant Lee Song Yee said the prices of vegetables were uncertain as they were determined according to the areas the vegetables were planted.
“The hot weather can cause a shortage of water at the farms and as a result, the vegetables did not grow to normal size and we are forced to sell cheaper,” he said.
Another trader at Datuk Keramat market, Selani Hadnawi, 30, also conceded that during the hot weather vegetables also got spoilt faster and were therefore sold cheaper.
“The vegetables get spoilt easily in hot weather. We will check the condition of the vegetables before deciding to sell in bunches of RM1 to RM2 depending on the quality of the products,” he said.
Bernama also surveyed several leading supermarkets in the federal capital and found the prices of fish and vegetables varied according to their supplies. – BERNAMA