Ice shortage hits fish sellers in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — Fish retailers in Mina Market here are incurring losses due to shortage of ice required to preserve fish.

By Atef Hanafi

Published: Fri 4 May 2007, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:19 AM

The shortage is the result of high demand from fishing boats and trawlers. Rise in temperature with the advent of summer is another factor.

Fish seller Abdul Qadir said against his daily requirement of 20-25 bags of ice (each bag weighs 20kg) he gets 5 bags only.

"The bag we get from the Abu Dhabi Fishermen's Cooperative Society at Dh2 is being sold in the market for Dh4. Lack of enough ice on displayed fish makes us liable for a fine of Dh1,000," he added.

Abdullah Kolteri, another seller, said the shortage of ice cropped up just five days ago. He works two shifts from 6am to 10pm daily and receives 500-600kg of fish but due to the lack of ice 10-15kg of fish gets spoilt everyday.

Mohammed Moqren, Chairman of the Transitional Committee for running the society's two ice plants, said: "The ice produced by our plants is subsidised and sold at Dh2 a bag. It is sold to all fishermen and sellers in the market."

While denying there was any shortage, he said "what has happened is that we have stopped selling ice to some middlemen who bought large quantities and then resold it at Dh3 a bag."

"The society doesn't make any profits as its core objective is to maintain an acceptable price," he stressed.

Speaking about the requirements for fish shops, Dr. Adel Hijazi, supervisor at the fish market, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said the fish on display should be laid on a thick layer of ice. The top of fish should also be covered with a thin layer of ice to ensure safety for as long as possible.

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