Malaysia’s seafood industry will be up to some tough times ahead as the seafood export business is in danger of collapsing.
More than 50,000 workers in the industry are having their jobs on the line and the worst can happen should the government fail to uplift a self-imposed ban for seafood import from Malaysia to European countries.
Last June, the European Union Health Authority conducted inspections and found out that many local processing facilities, fishing vessels and landing areas, as well as aquaculture farms are being run at below par standard and highly unsatisfactory conditions.
Sensing danger of a possible total EU ban, the Malaysia government decided to execute a self-imposed ban i.e. stopping all export activities to Europe until things are rectified. The move has seen a drastic loss and losses in sales and production of seafood products is estimated to reach RM1.5 billion.
The next inspection on seafood related facilities will be due in March 2009, and as the uncertainty continues, some companies have started to retrench its workers and cut down the working hours as sales volume dropped dramatically.