The Fisheries Department reported that the recent food crisis had led to a surge in demand for fish.
According to FMT, the director-general of fisheries, Sufian Sulaiman assured the people that the fish supply remains adequate and urge them to not panic buy as there was enough supply of fish in the country, from fish breeding and fish catches.
He added that Malaysians consume an average of about 42kg of fish per year.
“If people don’t resort to panic buying and hoard more fish than they usually consume, then we shouldn’t be having problems with supply.” he explained.
Meanwhile, Sufian also said that the department will ensure that fishermen are given the training to use new technologies such as the “super-intensive” systems to increase productivity.
However, National Fishermen’s Association chairman Abdul Hamid Bahari said that last week, the number of fish landings had decreased by close to two-thirds from more than a million tonnes a month due to unpredictable weather in the past two months.
Fisheries Development Authority Chairman Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal also told the press that there was a fish supply shortage and blamed it on ‘bureaucratic problems’ and a ‘weak delivery system.’
Over the last few weeks, prices of fish were reported to have soared due to high demand and supply shortages.
The price of mackerel, one of the most consumed fish, can go up to RM20 per kilogramme compared to just RM8 previously.
In response to this matter, Agriculture and Food Industries Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the government is trying to raise the supply of freshwater fish.