Shrimp and prawn farms being monitored by agencies

KLANG: The shrimp and prawn farming standards and requirements are constantly monitored in the country by multiple government agencies.

Given this, the import alert issued by the US FDA on the shrimp and prawns from Malaysia would be looked into from an inter-departmental approach, said Selangor Fisheries Department director Azlisha Ab Aziz.

"We will collectively find out about the import alert and take the necessary mea­sures," she said.

An industry source said the import alert was only for shrimp and prawns that were farmed and not those caught from the sea.

She said both nitrofurans and chloramphenicol were antibiotics used to combat various kinds of infections.

"The use of antibiotics in seafood farming is generally not allowed by major markets such as the United States, European Union and Japan," she said.

But, she added, major shrimp and prawn supplying countries in Asia such as India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, among others, had to depend on the use of these antibiotics to prevent diseases in farmed seafood.

"When such alert is made and it involves Malaysia, our authorities would generally investigate and find out who the suppliers of the consignments are and take the necessary measures," she said, adding it could also be a false alarm.

She said the Malaysian authorities also imposed stringent guidelines on what was permissible and what was not.