Seasonal restrictions lead to hike in fish prices
April 21 2016 09:59 PM
Fish
A fish stall at the Central Market. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke

By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter

Fish prices have started going up again as the annual restrictions on fishing activities in Qatar's waters have started affecting the catch, it is learnt.
The restrictions came into effect earlier this month.
Sources in the fish trade said the quantum of catch has fallen sharply over the last few days, attributing the trend to the restrictions.
The subsequent rise in rates in the local market comes about a week after a big fall in the prices of some sought-after varieties, as reported in Gulf Times recently.
Every year, fishing activities in the country are regulated between April 1 and May 31. Some wholesalers said that the lower catch would result in a jump in fish prices during these two months.
Under the restrictions, boats that use baskets (to catch varieties such as hamour, sheri and gargfan) can travel only thrice a month for fishing duties and cannot spend more than 12 days a month at sea. Each visit cannot last more than 96 hours, it is understood.
Boats using nets (for varieties such as king fish and tuna), a total of up to 14 days of duties is allowed, regardless of the duration of their stay in the sea for each visit.
Stall owners said the fall in catch has led to higher prices for varieties such as as hamour, king fish, pomfret and Sultan Ibrahim, among others.
On Tuesday, a kilogram of small hamour was being traded for QR47 at the Central Market, while king fish ranged between QR56 and QR59 per kg. Similarly, pomfret cost QR39 per kg.
All these varieties cost more now than a week ago, they said.
Despite the restrictions, the increased availability of sheri and koffer has resulted in a fall in their retail prices, it is understood. Large quantities of both varieties have reportedly been exported to Saudi Arabia, according to local traders.



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