European Union has imposed ban on imports of seafood from Malaysia in June when the EU Health Authority found unsatisfactory conditions in local aquaculture farms, seafood-processing facilities, fishing vessels and fish-landing areas. This decision has affected more than 60,000 workers in the seafood export industry who are now expected to face difficult times in the next two months should the Government fail to overturn European Union (EU) ban on imports from Malaysia.
The government of Malaysia has agreed on self-imposed ban til the nest inspection on the seafood industry, which has been scheduled for next March. Malaysian Frozen Food Processors Association (MFFPA) president Chng Chin Hooi said many processing plants would not last through Chinese New Year if the Government does not take quick action to rectify the situation.
He further said that Malaysia’s second largest food export industry is in the verge of collapsing due. Seafood exporters have reported an estimated loss in sales and production of more than RM1.5bil to date,” opined Hooi. He further said that seafood exporters have been struggling to stay afloat and have started to retrench workers and implemented reduced working hours since the ban came into force.
It is found that a major seafood exporter in Prai closed down a few months ago, retrenching 300 workers. They have appealed to the Finance Ministry to release a rescue package of RM500mil. It is told that the rescue package must be in the form of a soft loan with an interest rate hopefully not exceeding 2 percent. The seafood industry needs financial help to match the international standards for better business.