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Customers complain of high prices at start of shrimp fishing in Kuwait

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: On the first day of selling the Kuwaiti shrimp at the local fish markets, and after banning the fishermen from fishing in the Special Economic Zone for almost eight months, the price of one kilo of Kuwaiti shrimp reached KD 5 for the jumbo size and KD 3.5 for the medium and small size, while the price range of one basket (20 kilos) reached between KD 65 and KD 70.

On Sunday, President of the Kuwaiti Union of Fishermen Dhaher Al-Sowian announced that Kuwaiti fishing vessels licensed to fish for shrimp in the Special Economic Zone will be allowed to do fishing again starting from Monday, after obtaining a prior permit from the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources.

A merchant shows off freshly caught shrimps.

Sowian pointed out that the shrimp fishing season in regional waters will start on September 1 for holders of rear traction licenses and with environmentally friendly specifications. Kuwait Times spoke with fish market workers and discussed the prices of Kuwaiti shrimps.

Saifullah said that the price of one kilo of Kuwaiti shrimp reached KD 3.5, while the 3 kg were sold for KD 10. He said he believes that fish prices are high due to weak supply of Kuwaiti shrimps in markets with the high temperature. Saifullah pointed out that the customer demand for seafood products is very weak in general during the summer due to the travel of most citizens and expats, noting that after the summer, the high demand returns to increase in the fish market.

Meanwhile, Abu Al-Ezz mentioned that the price of a basket of Kuwaiti shrimp in the Fahaheel market on the first day reached KD 70, noting that the basket’s weight is between 22 and 23 kilos. Abu Al-Ezz confirmed the aforementioned prices, adding that at the beginning of the fishing season, the price of the basket usually reaches between KD 100 to KD 120 for the jumbo shrimp, mentioning that as a result of the shortage in the number of fishermen and lack of production in the sea, the number of available shrimps decreased in the beginning of the season, which affected the prices.

A customer examines the shrimp.

On the other hand, a shopper told Kuwait Times that the price of seafood products has increased dramatically, including the prices of fish and shrimps, describing the rise in prices as a “governmental failure” in performing its duty to curb the rise in prices. “Kuwait has an extended seafront, so we are supposed to have the cheapest prices of seafood products,” he argued. The citizen pointed out that the shrimp located in the economic zone is farmed Saudi shrimp and it is sold as Kuwaiti shrimp with very high prices, saying it reached KD 5 per kilo today when previously it was KD 1.5 per kilo only.

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