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Fish supply in Malaysia will be back to normal this month, says minister

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Fish supply in Malaysia will be back to normal this month, said Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.

The increase in supply was expected to continue until it reaches its peak in October.

"Fish supply is seasonal every year and the unpredictable weather patterns has an effect on the country's fish supply," Sinar Harian quoted Mr Ahmad as saying on Friday (June 3).

He said fishermen could not go out to sea for fishing activities because of this.

Still, the stock of fish in the country was sufficient for the needs of the people, the minister said.

The supply of fish in Malaysia has fallen 70 per cent, dropping from a million tonnes to approximately 300,000 tonnes a month owing to uncertain weather over the past two months.

The National Fishermen's Association (Nekmat) had said that this caused the price of fish in the market to soar, with small-sized mackerels being sold at RM12 to RM14 (S$3.80 to S$4.40) per kilogram, compared with RM3 to RM4 before, The Straits Times reported.

Mr Ahmad said that food security had become a hot debate among the public but assured that the government always monitors the situation to ensure food supply in the country remains adequate.

On Friday, a Johor official said the supply of chicken and eggs in the southern state is expected to recover within the next two weeks, with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations ending.

Johor's investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said there was sufficient supply despite reports otherwise in rural areas

"We expect the demand for chicken and eggs to decline within the next two weeks and the supply will return to normal," he said.

He confirmed that chicken exports would continue to be suspended until domestic prices and supplies stabilise.

malaysiaFOOD SECURITY