The transformation of the fishing profession, stringent regulations on fishermen, the forced relocation of many without repatriation, and the burgeoning online fish trade might collectively signal the irreversible conclusion of the fish market era. This sentiment is echoed by numerous observers, sellers, and specialists in the field.
A source informed Al-Anba, numerous stall vendors have given up their rented stalls due to challenges such as unmet operational expenses, labor shortages, the scarcity of local fish, and the overwhelming imported fish flooding the local market with hundreds of containers arriving each month.
Abu Rudaina, a seller at the fish market in the Sharq region, affirmed that local fish is scarcely found, and market demand is notably weak, particularly during extended vacations.
Fisherman Ala’a Khawaja voiced concerns about the imminent threat of extinction to the fishing profession, attributing it to stringent regulations on fishermen and the reduction of diesel subsidies, resulting in a diminished local catch this season.
Khawaja highlighted the influx of imported fish, amounting to around 40 containers from various countries, adversely impacting the local market. He noted the recent decision to conclude the shrimp fishing season on January 1, adversely affected fishermen who are accustomed to extending the season by an additional month to offset losses.
Khawaja expressed hope for a reversal of the decision and an extension of the fishing season by a month. He appealed to relevant authorities to consider extending the fishing season until at least February when the Nuwaibi season begins.
Khawaja emphasized that the fish market currently relies heavily on imports from Egypt, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Norway, while the local product is nearly stagnant and faces a threat of unavailability in upcoming seasons due to fishermen’s reluctance.
The current fish prices are as follows:
- C bass from 3 to 5.5
- Egyptian tilapia 1 dinar
- Puri 2 dinars
- New Kuwaiti 3 dinars
- Pakistani Naqrur 2.5
- Zubaidi is Pakistani 6
- Iranian Zubaidi 12
- Kuwaiti Zubaidi 18
- Salmon from 3.75 to 4.5
- Turkish Seabass 3 dinars
- Dennis 2.5
- Iranian shrimp 3.750
- Iranian grouper 3.5
- Pakistani Naqrur 2.5