Fish prices higher compared to previous CNY

KLANG: The price of fish during the festive season this year is higher than previous years and the cost has still not gone down.

Fish trader Raja Aspalela Raja Adzman said there was a shortage of fish due to various factors including the recent Chinese New Year celebrations.

She added that it was common for most Chinese fishermen to take a break a few days before the festival right up to Chap Goh Meh which is slightly over two weeks.

“For example, if it was a norm for 100 fishing boats to go out, only perhaps 50 are going out at the moment,’’ she said.

She said the bawal tambak (silver pomfret) and large prawns commanded the highest prices this year.

“Usually, it takes about three bawal tambak to make up one kg and the usual price is about RM60 per kg.

“But during the peak of the festive season, one bawal tambak fish weighing about 500 grams or a little less, can fetch up to RM100,’’ said Raja Aspalela, adding that the price of that particular fish was still high.

As for large prawns, Raja Aspalela said it would usually cost about RM75 per kg but was now going at RM120 per kg.

Selangor Fishermen Association chairman Omar Abdul Rahman said the prices were high due to a shortage of fish but the shortage was not due to just the festive season.

“There is a change in climate and weather in recent times which has rendered a shortage of certain species of fish at sea,’’ he said when contacted.

Because of this, he added, fishermen now need to go up to 40 nautical miles from the shore to ‘hunt’ for fish as opposed to just 10 nautical miles in the past.

Because of this, he added, a longer time was taken for the fishermen to locate the fish, catch it and bring it to shore.

“Because of the longer time taken and extra usage of diesel, the prices have to meet the effort put in as the diesel subsidy given by the government is also unable to cover the cost,’’ said Omar.

He said the quantity of shrimp and prawns at sea was also considerably lower than in the recent past.

“What we can do is just hope that the situation will change for the better very soon,’’ he said.

When contacted Selangor Fisheries Department director Noraisyah Abu Bakar said early reports received by her department did indicate a rise in seafood prices.

“The price has escalated because of the high demand for seafood during the Chinese New Year festivities.

“Most of the fishing vessels owned by Chinese fishermen were not going out to sea during the festival season,’’ she added.

Another factor, said Noraisyah, was that many fish wholesalers and traders had also closed their shops and operations to observe the Chinese New Year break.

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Fishermen , Prices , High , Festivals , Chinese New Year


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