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Malaysian Seafood Ban Costs Sabah Millions

MALAYSIA - The European Union (EU) ban on the country's marine/fisheries products has caused a significant downslide in the economic fortunes of Sabah's industry players and stakeholders.

The export volume to the EU from the State used to be very substantial, earning Sabah millions of Ringgit, reports the Malaysian news agency, Daily Express.

"Between 2002 and 2006, the total value was RM362 million. In 2006 alone, it was RM80 million. The impact is such that one company, for instance, that used to export 2,000 tonnes annually, managed to send to the EU only seven per cent of the amount this year," State Fisheries Director Rayner Datuk Stuel Galid, told the news agency.

Nationally, the figure for total export to the EU per year is between RM500 million and RM600 million.

The de-listing of Malaysia by the EU as an exporter of fisheries products to their countries mainly because of "unhygienic handling", had the State Government looking into the problem seriously. One of the major issues brought up by the EU was fish landing.