The Fish Market at Umm Slal Central Market has seen considerable drop in the amounts of fish on display there, due to the shortage in supply because of the strong winds and the difficulty of fishermen in accessing the fishing areas due to the changing weather conditions.
Local Arabic daily Arrayah reported that this has contributed to high retail prices of most fish varieties across the local market, as the Umm Slal market recently got only 23 tonnes fish a day, which is around 60% less than the daily quantity that the market used to receive earlier. The market used to receive around 50 to 60 tonnes of fish a day and at times up to 100 tonnes. The auctioneers at the market stressed that the amounts of fish received over the past week kept dropping due to the strong winds. They pointed out that only seven boats were able to supply their catch to the market.
Accordingly, a box of around 18-19kg of hamour fish was sold at QR1,850 while the sheri variety sold at QR550, and other types of fish ranged from QR350 to QR220 according to the size and weight of the fish. However, around 2kg of kingfish were sold for QR120. All these average prices were the wholesale rates over the past week. This also reflects in turn on the retail price rates.
The auctioneers pointed out that big size kingfish and hamour are in particular very expensive due to the very high demand from both Qataris and expatriates, who mostly prefer the big size fish from these species, with some of them amounting to up to 18kg a fish. An auctioneer further explained that hamour fish is not easy to find and catch, so the amounts supplied to the local market on a daily basis are often limited. As for kingfish, the supply over the past week was very limited, raising the retail prices by more than 50% at some places. The recently recorded price of kingfish at the market amounted to QR55 per kg. However, most fishermen and traders expect that the prices of most fish types will further drop over the coming period as the weather stabilises and the wind speed reduces.