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Kuwaitis decry the escalating prices of fish in the ‘market’

Boat owners cite high labor cost, low number of fishermen

KUWAIT CITY, July 1: The issue of rising fish prices continues to dominate the local scene, where citizens have stressed that their purchasing power of fish is dwindling and cannot provide fish on their table daily, reports Al-Jaridah daily.

The prices of fish in Kuwait are increasing significantly, especially in the summer, due to very hot climatic conditions that may affect the fishermen who have complained of low quantities of fish catch daily.

A number of fish boat owners said the rise in prices of rugs, high labor cost and the low number of fishermen and lagoons that go fishing has led to higher prices. Some pointed out that the small number of fish and the lack of fishing in Kuwait were also behind the rise in prices. Some citizens said defining the fish prices is supposed to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry pointing out that the prices of fish are low in Saudi Arabia by more than 50 percent compared to Kuwait. The source of all fish in the Arabian Gulf is one, and there is no difference between them.

One of the owners of fishing trawler, Hamdi Seba’i, said the quantity of local fish is small because of the extreme heat and high humid conditions, which make the fish rest at the bottom of the sea where the water is cold. He said the state does not give new fishing licenses and this is one of the reasons for monopoly in the fishing industry and helps few individuals to control the prices of fish.

He pointed out the consumers have begun to alienate from the fish market and instead go to other fish companies that import fish from abroad which also has a role in increasing the prices of fish. Citizen Jassem Al-Khalaf said it is time for the government to interfere and impose definite prices for fish. He enquired about the production of the farms of fish announced by Public Authority for Fish Resources and Agricultural Affairs. He asked why Kuwait does not import the Iranian fish that is similar to the Kuwaiti and cheaper.

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