Hike in the fish prices reached a record high on Friday, 21 August with the prices of some kinds of fish increasing by 250 percent due to lack of surveillance by the concerned authorities particularly Ministry of Commerce and Industry, informed sources say. This price hike has led a number of Twitter users to launch a campaign titled ‘Let it be spoiled’ on social media to boycott the purchase of fish. A tour of the Fish Market revealed that the price of Balol fish has increased to KD10 per kilogram, Subaiti KD 8 per kilogram and Hammour KD 7.5 per kilogram.
Last year this time, the prices of these kinds of fish were within the range of KD 3 and KD5. The price of Kan’ad fish has reached KD6.5 per kilogram, Al- Shaam KD 5.5 per kilogram and Zubaidi between KD 10 and KD 12 per kilogram depending on its size.
The price of shrimps has increased KD 3.5 per kilogram and KD 70 per basket. Last year this time, the price of a basket of shrimps was maximum KD 50. Consumers complained about the absence of surveillance by Ministry of Commerce and Industry and lack of commitment to the prices that the ministry determines on a daily basis. Meanwhile, fishmongers insisted that such hike in the prices of fish is due to a number of reasons including the strict procedures implemented by the Coast Guard Department and other concerned authorities in monitoring fish boats, which are 80 in total, as they had committed huge violations earlier, which had in turn reduced the availability of fish in the market to a large extent.
The high temperatures, reduced number of fishermen and difficulty in bringing fishermen from overseas and providing them with residency permits are some other reasons for the hike in the prices of fish. Another major reason is the hike in the rent of the stalls used for selling fish, which is about KD 750 per month. Owners of the stalls explained that the Fish Market has 274 stalls in total, out of which 60 are possessed by Kuwait Fishermen Union for a rent ranging between KD 200 and KD 450 per month, 40 stalls are allocated for the cleaning companies and 174 for a private company that rents out the stalls to citizens for KD 750 each per month.
Source: Arab Times