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Friday July 7, 2006

Fish now sold via the Net


sira@thestar.com.my 

ALOR STAR: Fishermen in Tanjung Dawai have gone the Internet way, auctioning their catches via e-mail.  

Bidders from all over the world are welcome to place bids from 3pm to 7pm Malaysian time every day. 

Tanjung Dawai Fishermen Association general manager Abdullah Ibrahim said the system that was introduced in April has so far only attracted wholesalers from Penang and Kedah. 

“We are ready to take on the world. But the bidders must bear the transportation costs,” he said, adding that the system was set up with the help of the Malaysia Fisheries Development Board. 

The fishermen in Tanjung Dawai are the first in Kedah to try out the system, he said. 

INTERNET CATCH: Fish supplier Lai Chun Aun, 34, showing some of the baby sharks he bought to sell at Soon Ting Fishery Sdn Bhd in Kuala Kedah Thursday.
The association has installed three computers and three 29-inch televisions to display the bidding list. 

“Bidders state their price by e-mailing to pnktdawai@yahoo. com. We will flash their prices on the television sets for fishermen gathered at our auction hall. If there is agreement, then we will e-mail the bidders and let them know,” he said.  

“But first, the bidders must register their name with the association (by calling 04-4572106). We will give them a code number to participate in the bidding.”  

Abdullah said the system benefited the fishermen as they could get the best deal, adding that the association had 1,204 members. 

The association would impose a 5% surcharge on the buyers, he said, adding that the association was hoping to create its own website one day. 

The association reported a decline in catches of high-grade fish last month. 

Between January and June this year, the association recorded sales of 80.7 tonnes of fish worth RM6.4mil. 

Kuala Kedah Fishermen’s Association Board of Directors chairman Abdul Hamid Bahari said the impact of the 2004 tsunami could still be felt, as there was a 50% drop in catches. 

“To maintain the volume, fishermen have to spend three days and three nights at sea. Before the tsunami, fishermen could catch the same amount within a day,” he said. 

“Because of poor catches and high demand, the price of fish has gone up by between 20% and 25%.”  

Abdul Hamid said the fishermen in Kuala Kedah would also go high-tech next year, after the association’s new complex in Keloncor was completed. 

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