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Price of seafood, vegetables to rise during monsoon

IPOH: Fishermen in several Malaysian states have warned of a price increase for seafood as they brace for a lower haul during the rainy season as rough seas force them to stick closer to shore.

Vegetable prices are also expected to spike due to a lower harvest during the monsoon.

Perak fishermen expect the price of seafood to rise by between 20 and 60 per cent soon, as yields are lower.

Ms Jeanne Khor, secretary of the 300-strong Pantai Remis Fishermen Association, said the rainy season could cut the catch by 50 to 60 per cent.

She said the price of mackerel could rise from about RM 6 (S$1.95) to about RM10 a kg, and of sardines from RM4 to RM7.

Said Perak's Kuala Sepetang Fishermen Co-operative representative Bee Liang Chai: "It rained heavily in the last two months but even though there is less rain now, the catch has decreased compared with previous years."

In Melaka, Mr Rashid Mat Zin, 47, said fishermen like him usually stick closer to the shoreline during this period.

"Monstrous waves and strong winds make it hard for us to control our boats," he said. "It is the worst this year because of the unusually heavy rainfall and strong winds."

Meanwhile, the Cameron Highlands Malay Farmers Association expects a 20 per cent to 25 per cent drop in the harvest of vegetables during the rainy season. As a result, tomatoes, for example, are expected to cost RM4 per kg, up from RM3. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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