Malaysians Urged To Change Choice of Seafood To Prevent Depletion

Taken from The Star article today (9 June 2010), we believe that this concerns us Sabahans as well, who just love to eat seafood:

Malaysians urged to change choice of seafood to prevent depletion

PETALING JAYA: Skip the pomfret, grouper, coral trout, bream (kerisi) and tiger prawn. Go for the grey mullet (belanak), Spanish mackerel (tenggiri) and scad (cencaru) instead.
Green groups are urging Malaysians to change their choices in seafood in order to arrest further depletion of certain fish species.
To help them make the right decisions is the palm-sized Malaysia Sustainable Seafood Guide, jointly launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) yesterday.
Of the 50 most popular Malaysian seafood species, the guide recommends only 17. Malaysians should be wary of consuming 13 species while 20 should be avoided altogether (Download the guide at www.saveourseafood.my).
The guide, part of the Save Our Seafood campaign to mark World Oceans Day, was based on a 21-month study by fisheries experts who reviewed 383 fishery assessments covering 85 species.
Malaysians are the second largest seafood consumers (45.4kg per capita) in this part of the world, after the Japanese (64.8kg per capita). This eating preference is depleting the seas of fish.
“Most of the coastal fishing areas around peninsular Malaysia have been over-fished since the 1980s, as seen by low catch rates, reduction in high-value fish and increase in landings of ‘trash’ (low-value) fish,” said P. Gangaram, manager of WWF peninsular Malaysia seas programme.
He said demersal fish (sea bottom dwellers) stocks in some parts of the country had plunged by 90% over the past 30 years.

WWF executive director Datuk Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma said: “At present, we are taking some of our fish stocks out of the oceans faster than they can be replenished,” he said.
The campaign has received the support of popular Malaysian chef Datuk Redzuawan Ismail or Chef Wan.
“We hope seafood lovers in Malaysia will re-evaluate and eventually change their consumption patterns,” he said.