No buyers for Sanglang seafood because of virus fear, say fishermen

Fishermen in Kuala Sanglang say that buyers are shunning their seafood catches. (Bernama pic)

KUALA PERLIS: Many fishermen here lamented that seafood sales have declined as middlemen and the public have refused to buy their catch because of the spread of Covid-19 infections in two villages in the district.

One of the fishermen, Yaakob Bahari, 70, said that his sales dropped a few days ago as the public were afraid to buy fish and other seafood from Kuala Sanglang fishermen, in both Perlis and Kedah.

“We go out to sea, we catch the fish but the problem is there are no buyers, and even customers from outside the state are reluctant to buy from us.

“The unsold catch has to be processed into dried fish or given for free to the public to avoid being wasted,” said Yaakob, who lives in Kuala Sungai Baru.

Omar Teh, 58, a fisherman at Kuala Sanglang jetty in Kedah, said the price of ikan kembung (mackerel) had dropped to RM3 a kg from between RM6 and RM8 a kg before the enforcement of a lockdown under the targeted enhanced movement control order last Saturday.

Kuala Sanglang straddles the Kedah-Perlis border, which runs through the village.

“The lockdown is implemented somewhere else… but we are affected, too, as customers no longer dare come to the Kedah side of Kuala Sanglang, located next to the Perlis side.

He said people were confused between Kuala Sanglang in Perlis and Kuala Sanglang in Kedah, causing their seafood sales to drop by about 80pc from the usual amount.

The Perlis government has implemented a lockdown for 28 days from Aug 8 in Kampung Kuala Sanglang and Kampung Tanah Timbul to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been 30 Covid-19 cases, including 11 recent cases from the Sivagangga cluster which started in Napoh, Kubang Pasu, in Kedah.