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Weather affects fish prices in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Customers are seen at the main fish market in Sharq. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: There has been a noticeable spike in the prices of fish at Mubarakiya fish market. According to a market official who requested anonymity, the price increase has been due to recent adverse weather conditions, rain, cold and the temperature of the sea. “This is expected, especially in the winter season. The fish go to the bottom of the sea to adapt to the temperature, so the catch is low. But this is compensated by imported fish,” he said.

Prices of fish depend on their type and size. The price of hamour for example ranges from KD 3.5 per kilo to KD 3 per kilo. Fish like baloul are KD 5 per kilo, nuwaibi KD 2.500, sha-em KD 3, sheem KD 5, nagrour KD 5, crabs KD 1.500 and the bigger size was at KD 2, biyya KD 2, zubaiti KD 4.500, kanad KD 2.500, sheeri KD 2.500, t’lah KD 3.500, m’zeizei KD 5 and faskar KD 3 per kilo. Kuwaitis’ favorite fish zubaidi is also classified depending on size, with large (700 gm to 1 kg) selling for KD 9 per kilo, medium (400 gm to 600 gm) for KD 6 and small (350 gm and less) for KD 4.5.

Prices of fish is much cheaper at the Souq Mubarakiya and Souq Sharq fish markets than at hypermarkets and supermarkets. “If you want cheaper and fresher fish, buy them from the central fish markets. Prices are sometimes double in the malls,” the official noted. Fish caught in Kuwaiti waters account for only around 20 percent of fish in the market, with the rest imported from various countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Zubaidi, hamour, nuwaibi and maid are some of the varieties of fish popular in Kuwait. Meanwhile, only half of Mubarakiya fish market will be open to the public by the end of January, as the other half will be renovated.

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