Fish prices in UAE increase by 100% as mercury soars

Fish prices in UAE increase by 100% as mercury soars

Umm Al Quwain - The tough weather has discouraged the fishermen to go fishing, leading to significant drop in supply

The scorching summer temperature, which has reportedly exceeded 64°C in July, has left a significant impact on fish prices here in the emirate of Umm Al Quwain.

The tough weather has discouraged the fishermen to go fishing and that led to a significant drop in fish supply and lead to almost 100 per cent rise in fish prices.

Fish traders told Khaleej Times that fish prices are mostly high during summer months.

"Fishermen, be they Emirati nationals or expatriates, do not feel like to go fishing in this unbearable hot and humid weather," Muhammad Ashraf said.

Fish also swim deeper to avoid the high temperature of surface waters, he added. "This adds more burdens on the fishermen and makes their job quite harder as most fish swim deep to cold waters where they get unreachable."

Muhammad Akram, a fisherman here, said that most of fish on display in the UAQ fish market have been caught from the creeks of the emirate.

"On top of these local fish are the Safi, Sheri, and Bayah which are mostly in demand these days by local and expatriates alike."

Indicating, Abdullah Al Mazrouie, an Emirati fisherman, said that they sometimes fail to meet the pressing demand.

"In such cases, we could not help importing fish from fish markets in nearby emirates to meet the needs of our customers."

However, prices have significantly jumped these days, he added. "A Mann (4kg) of Bayah popular local fish has risen from Dh200 to Dh300; a big spike of Dh100 at one time."

The same applies to Safi fish which increased from Dh200 to Dh350 per Mann, he elaborated. "However, the imported Mann of Safi fish costs only Dh100."

The price of Sheri fish has risen from Dh80 to Dh140 and a Mann of Hamoor or Grouper fish also shot up from Dh150 to Dh260, he explained.

'The lowest Mann of fish is for the Naisar which is sold against Dh300 while the 4kg of the Basar fish is available at Dh40."

Sherif Al Wakeel, an Egyptian resident, said such a jump in fish price has been worsened with more demand from consumers who flocked to the market from nearby emirates looking for certain fresh fishes they prefer.

"There is always increasing demand on these types locally and from other emirates who regularly flock to market at the weekend to enjoy them fresh,"

On July 01 this year, fishing was permitted at the UAQ Khor following a four-month ban earlier enforced to enhance reproduction and increase the amounts of local fish.

Hussain Al Hajiri, head of the UAQ Fishermen Society, said only Emirati fishermen in the emirate are allowed to fish in the UAQ Creek from 3pm to 6am next day for those using Alyakh (Gramsta) nets and from 4am to 8am for Qaraqeer (hexagonal) nets fishermen.

"The UAQ Creek, with its various fish foods, is one of the best sites for fish hatching. The period needed for a fish to recover after laying eggs differs from one type to another and according to environmental factors."

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