The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Department of Fisheries and other related agencies to investigate the claim by the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) that there is a shortage of Indian Mackerel (ikan kembung) and the role of middlemen in causing this food source to increase in price from RM18.00 RM22.00 per kilogram.
According to Iskandar Ismail, the Chief Executive Officer of MyCC, because of this problem Malaysia has been forced to import Indian Mackerel from China, Yemen and Pakistan as well as frozen Indian Mackerel from the Middle Eastern countries and Singapore to fulfil our local needs.
Referring to the news report in The Star newspaper published today (7 April 2021) titled “Poor man’s fish overfished”, CAP is worried that if the incident really occurred then it would affect our country’s food supply and burden consumers all at once.
The relevant authorities need to pay serious attention to this matter and investigate as well as take the necessary immediate action; and the outcome has to be revealed to the public as soon as possible.
In addition, CAP asks the Department of Fisheries to take action against the fishermen who catch young Indian Mackerel and sell them to those managing aquaculture projects as fish feed for the fish they are rearing.
The catching of this trash fish has been going on for a long time and could be one of the contributing factors for the low supply and increase in market price. CAP urges the Department of Fisheries and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to strictly enforce the Fisheries Act 1985 to ensure the conservation of the country’s fishery resources for the future.
Press Statement, 7 April 2021