Fish trade in Kuwait loses its charm

Vendors decry too many restrictions, fish scarcity

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Online sales surge and regulations push the fish market to the brink of irreversible change.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 4: In what seems to be a transformative period for the fishing profession, a confluence of factors such as stringent regulations on fishermen, the departure of many to their home countries without return, and the surge in online fish sales may spell the end of the fish market era, according to various observers, sellers, and industry experts.

Insiders revealed to Al-Anbaa that several stall vendors have relinquished their rented spaces due to challenges like unmet operating expenses, a scarcity of labor, a dearth of local fish, and the overwhelming presence of imported fish flooding the local market in hundreds of containers monthly.

Abu Rudaina, a vendor in the Sharq region’s fish market, corroborated that local fish availability is scarce, with market demand remaining sluggish, particularly during extended holidays.

Fisherman Alaa Khawaja echoed concerns about the endangered state of the fishing profession. He attributed this threat to the restrictions 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 approximately 40 containers from various countries, significantly impacting the local market. He emphasized the recent decision to conclude the shrimp fishing season on January 1 as detrimental to fishermen, who were accustomed to an additional month to compensate for losses.

Khawaja expressed hope for a reversal of the decision, urging relevant authorities to extend the fishing season by at least a month until the Nuwaibi season begins in February when Nuwaibi fish enters Kuwait. He underscored that the fish market now predominantly features imports from Egypt, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Norway, while local products face a standstill and potential unavailability in the coming seasons due to fishermen’s hesitance.

Fish Prices:

  • Sea bass: 3 to 5.5 dinars
  • Egyptian tilapia: 1 dinar
  • Mullet: 2 dinars
  • Kuwaiti seabass: 3 dinars
  • Pakistani nagrur: 2.5 dinars
  • Pakistani Zubaidi: 6 dinars
  • Iranian Zubaidi: 12 dinars
  • Kuwaiti Zubaidi: 18 dinars
  • Salmon: 3.75 to 4.5 dinars
  • Turkish seabass: 3 dinars
  • Dennis: 2.5 dinars
  • Iranian Shrimp: 3.750 dinars
  • Iranian Grouper: 3.5 dinars
  • Pakistani Nagour: 2.5 dinars

This news has been read 2103 times!

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