Muscat: Fish prices in various parts of the country have increased by almost 20 per cent due to the increased demand during the month of Ramadan coupled with less fishing activity in the sea, say fishermen.
Abdul Wahid, an Omani fisherman who lives in the Al Bustan village, told the Times of Oman, that it was a normal phenomenon during Ramadan for the prices of fish to rise.
"Every year, the price of fish goes up during Ramadan as people demand more quantity. Despite government's initiative to control the prices, it is not practical to guard against such an increase."
Mahmoud, another fisherman from Ibri, said that in his area also, it was harder to find fish in the market since there has been lesser fishing activity now. "It is a normal thing that we do not do much fishing in this weather as the fish go deep down in the sea beyond the reach of fishermen. It is not easy to do as much fishing to cater to the local and the national market," he said.
"In this weather, only a few types of small fish are available in the shallow water easily. It is not allowed to go deep down into the sea to hunt for bigger fish due to safety reasons," said Mahmoud.
Due to the rising demand during Ramadan, the price of kingfish has touched around OMR5 per kilo. It normally costs just OMR1 to OMR3 per kilo. Tuna, which is one of the most preferred fish in Oman, is being sold at a price of OMR3 per kilo.
Similarly, a substantial increase has happened in the price of Doversole which now costs OMR2.5, up from OMR1 or OMR1.5 per kilo. There are a lot of other varieties of fish including mackerel, barcoda, ardines makrel, sardine and red snapper which are available in very small quantity in the market.
In the Muttrah fish market, there is less activity when it comes to fish selling, due to Ramadan as the supply has gone down from around 50 tonnes per day to just around 30 tonnes.
The Times of Oman had reported earlier that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has put a temporary ban on export of several kinds of fish from June 1 to September 15 to meet the rising demands in the local market and guard against shortfall of fish in the sea due to weather conditions.
According to a plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, various companies would be supplying fish in all parts of the country till August end. These companies are Oman Fisheries, Fakhr Al Bahhar, Ruwwad Al Ibtekar, Al Bahihi, Al Jarjur, Al Ankawi, Ruwas Jabal Hafeet.