Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) has sealed 4,050 kilograms of Pacific mackerel fish from China in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, due to its circulation that violated the intended use.

This action was taken in response to public reports of suspected improper distribution of imported fish in local markets, said Adin Nurawaluddin, the ministry's Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision.

"The ministry immediately sealed and placed fishery supervision lines as a quick step to protect our fishermen," he noted in a statement on Saturday.

He said that imported fish circulating in the local market is negatively impacting the price of local fish that cost only Rp20,000-Rp22,000 (around US$1.29-$1.42) per kilogram as compared to the local fish priced at Rp25,000-Rp30,000 per kilogram.

Based on applicable regulations, imported salmon products are used as raw material for the fishery industry and not for being sold in the local market, he stated.

"Imported fishery products are supposed to be used as raw materials for the fishing industry in which quotas have been set by the Ministry of Trade based on recommendations from the Directorate General of Strengthening the Competitiveness of Maritime and Fishery Products in our ministry," he revealed.

Based on preliminary information from the warehouse owner, the fish was purchased from a Jakarta-based broker, who obtained the stock from one of the large importing companies in Jakarta, he remarked.

As there is no fishery industry in Banjarmasin City, the ministry plans to conduct further studies in the future to trace the origin of imported fish and their distribution, stated Nurawaluddin.

If the investigation reveals an alleged violation of the import, starting from sales data, distribution data, and sales activities of the imported fish in Banjarmasin, then the ministry will take a further step in accordance with applicable regulations, he stated.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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