How the subsidised diesel shortage is affecting the livelihood of fishermen... and your seafood

Fisherman Lam Ee Thong said he has been unable to go to sea for the past two days due to shortage of subsidised diesel. — Picture by Sylvia Looi
Fisherman Lam Ee Thong said he has been unable to go to sea for the past two days due to shortage of subsidised diesel. — Picture by Sylvia Looi

LUMUT, May 31 — Get ready to pay more for your seafood.

For the past two days, fishermen in the Manjung area have been unable to go to sea due to the disruption of the subsidised diesel supply.

Fishermen Lam Ee Thong, 52, said he found out subsidised diesel had run out when he wanted to fill up his boats at Sungai Pinang Besar, Pangkor on Tuesday.

“The personnel manning the pump told me subsidised diesel had run out,” he said.

Speaking to Malay Mail when met on the island yesterday, Lam said he was entitled to 66,000 litres of subsidised fuel for his four boats.

“I have only used 56,000 litres of the entitlement,” he said, adding that the quota is refreshed monthly.

He said as a result of the shortage, the fishermen of the Manjung District had stopped going to sea for the past two days.

“This is expected to affect the supply of seafood as we contribute to some 30 per cent of seafood in the market nationwide,” he added.

Lam said the last time a similar incident occurred was two years ago.

He said despite not being able to go to sea, there are still costs to bear, namely his workers’ salaries.

“I have about 50 workers under me and each of them draw a monthly salary of RM2,000,” he added, appealing to the authorities to look into the matter.

Persatuan Nelayan Pangkor chairman Rasdi Ibrahim, 46, said the shortage has hit 1,000 fishermen.

“We were told the problem started on Pangkor on Tuesday but today it had spread nationwide,” he added.

He said the only way out of the problem would be to increase the quota.

“If not, there will be a shortage of seafood in the market and this will lead to higher prices,” he said.

Related Articles