No one seems to know who is responsible for cutting off the city's live imports Supplies of live seafood and saltwater fish are expected to run out in the next couple of days as a de facto ban on exports from the mainland by land, imposed on Sunday, is extended to exports by sea today. There was still confusion last night over who imposed the ban, with Guangdong authorities denying it was them. Some reports said seafood suppliers had halted exports in protest against Hong Kong's stringent hygiene standards. Chamber of Seafood Merchants chairman Lee Choi-wah said the disruption began on Sunday when truckloads of seafood were stranded at the border. 'We received information from the drivers that the authorities were not issuing manifests to confirm the seafood had passed quality control. Without manifests, the Shenzhen checkpoint did not allow the seafood to be exported,' Mr Lee said. He said this was a de facto ban. 'Suppliers in the mainland said they had received official notices telling them manifests would not be issued for any land exports. They have also received notice that this will extend to sea exports [today]. Without the manifests, the seafood cannot be exported.' But the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said the agency responsible for exports, the Guangdong and Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, had denied imposing the ban. It had, however, stepped up inspections as a result of recent test results in Hong Kong on seafood. The bureau hoped to resolve the issue with mainland authorities by the end of the week, the spokesman said. A spokesman for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said it had not banned seafood exports. An official in Shenzhen confirmed no saltwater fish were going to Hong Kong yesterday but said it had nothing to do with the government. An employee of the Guangdong Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Association said several big suppliers had taken the decision in private. 'There have been many negative reports recently,' he said. 'The Guangdong authorities have carried out more inspections. Suppliers don't want to sell seafood to Hong Kong at such a time. If anything happens, it will damage their reputation and business.' He believes supplies will be back to normal 'in a few days'. Mr Lee said prawns, crab and shellfish - which made up half of the seafood supplied to Hong Kong - had been worst affected. Wholesalers said they had received no deliveries yesterday and that existing supplies could only last one or two days. At the Luofang seafood wholesale market - the biggest fish market in Shenzhen - vendors said their business had been affected by the suspension. One fishmonger said business had fallen by 10 per cent.