KUWAIT CITY, Aug 13: Chairman of Kuwait Fishermen Union (KFU) Thaher Al- Sowayyan has affirmed that the union is in solidarity with the campaign, ‘Let it Rot’, because stability of prices is a national duty; stressing the union is concerned with opinion of consumers and it is keen on serving them.
In a press statement, Al-Sowayyan explained the role of the union is to provide fresh fish and shrimps daily to the local markets in order to regulate the prices. “For the third year in a row, we have been hearing the ‘Let it Rot’ campaign due to the exorbitant prices of fish in the market. We wonder why the campaign comes in August of each year, when the fishing season starts,” he narrated.
He said the Kuwaiti fishermen have been suffering for a long time due to lack of support from the concerned authorities that do not respond to the their demands and make them face problems. He also raised the issue of banning Kuwaiti boats from crossing to fish shrimps in international waters through Doha Port, indicating this surprised the fishermen.
He said the union has demanded that Doha Port should be made into the entry/exit points for Kuwaiti boats in Shamlan base and Umm Al-Maradim or Shuaiba as entry/exit points for the boats in Al-Kout, Fahaheel. He pointed out that approving Umm Al-Maradim only has prompted some fishermen to refrain from going to the sea. He clarified this decision made the journey of boats in Shamlan longer, as they are required to go from North to South, and then to international waters to fish for shrimps in the northern areas once again.
He disclosed the number of boats in Shamlan base exceeds 170 and failure to exit leads to little supply in the market, thereby, the increase in prices. He said he does not know the authority behind the campaign, ‘Let it Rot’, which could explain the matter. He added strict rules are applied in Umm Al-Maradim such that the fishermen are required to present their passports at the entry/exit points in international waters.
He said this caused many problems to fishermen, even if they fish in Kuwaiti waters and there is no need for stamping their passports because they did not go to other countries. The union had a meeting on July 9, 2016 – 11 days before the beginning of shrimps fishing – with representatives of the Coast Guard and Fish Resources Department in attendance, but they were not informed of the newly approved law on entering the international waters through Umm Al-Maradim only and canceling Doha Port.
By Abdul Naser Al-Aslami Al Seyassah Staff