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Malaysia spends RM1 billion yearly on fish imports
Published on: Wednesday, July 20, 2022
By: Bernama
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Malaysia spends RM1 billion yearly on fish imports
“The existence of illegal foreign fishing vessels encroaching into Malaysian waters shows that our waters are still rich with marine life. Therefore, our fishermen must fully explore the fisheries industry in order that we can reduce our dependency on fish imports,” he said.
LABUAN: The RM1 billion worth of annual fish imports cater to domestic demand with most of the catch coming from neighbouring countries, said Department of Fisheries Malaysia Deputy Director-General (Development) Mohd Mohtar Mahamud.

“We are still importing fish from neighbouring countries, including frozen fish…the value is still high and this has been so since the last few years,” he said after receiving three units of patrol boats at the Labuan fisheries jetty here, Tuesday. Mohd Mohtar Mahamud said the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (Mafi), encourages local fishermen to venture into the aquaculture industry.

“The aquaculture industry is developing rapidly in many countries because it is sustainable,” he said.

Although the value of fish imports is high, fisheries and aquaculture product exports, especially high quality fish species, are almost similar, he said.

On illegal fishing by foreign vessels in Malaysian waters, he said this is still under control.

“The enforcement agencies (comprising) the marine police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), are working together with our department’s enforcement team to monitor unregulated and illegal fishing.

“The existence of illegal foreign fishing vessels encroaching into Malaysian waters shows that our waters are still rich with marine life. Therefore, our fishermen must fully explore the fisheries industry in order that we can reduce our dependency on fish imports,” he said.

Mohd Mohtar Mahamud said the department will increase its assets comprising patrol boats for protection and for marine life conservation.

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