Malaysian exporters look beyond EU
The local seafood export business has shifted its focus to Asia, Australia and the United States due to the scarcity of European Union (EU)-approved aquaculture farms and fishing vessels in Malaysia.
Malaysia Shrimp Industry Association president Syed Omar Syed Jaafar said domestic fishing vessels and aquaculture farms would need to invest to upgrade their facilities to enable them to comply with EU standards and obtain EU approval.
Following the lifting of almost one-year-old ban on Malaysian seafood to the EU in 2009, seafood that were caught only by EU-approved fishing vessels and raw materials supplied by EU-approved aquaculture farms were allowed to be exported to Europe.
“Banks are reluctant to lend money to aquaculture farm and fishing vessel owners without strong collateral,” said Omar.
Omar said this involved high cost and those who were reluctant to upgrade would prefer to supply to seafood processing companies that exported to non-EU countries.