This file photo shows a vendor selling Kuwaiti fish waiting for customers at the Sharq fish market. —Photo by Joseph Shagra
This file photo shows a vendor selling Kuwaiti fish waiting for customers at the Sharq fish market. —Photo by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: Fish prices have fallen, although most salesmen at the Sharq fish market do not want to admit it. The boycott campaign ‘Let it Spoil’ seems to have played a part since it started about two weeks ago, leading to prices of some types of fish to drop by half.

The low prices are still holding, and rumors of any increases are not true. At 4:30 pm yesterday, the market was active with people roaming around, yet it was not crowded. But not all visitors were buying – some had only come to check the prices. The price of Kuwaiti zubaidi (silver pomfret) was between KD 9 and 10 per kilogram, while Iranian zubaidi was being sold for KD 7 to 7.500.

The price before the boycott was KD 15 per kilo of local zubaidi. A kilogram of medium-sized shrimps was being sold for KD 2.750-2.500, while a kilo of small-sized shrimps was priced at KD 1.500. The salesmen were also offering discounts for larger quantities, so 5 kg of small shrimps were being sold for only KD 7. Previously, the price was about KD 3.500 per kilogram. Kuwaiti hammour (greasy grouper) was priced KD 6.500 per kilo, while Iranian hammour was sold for KD 4.500.

The price before the boycott was KD 10 for the local fish. The price of Kuwaiti balul (small greasy grouper) was KD 7 and KD 4.500 for the Iranian fish. Kuwaiti subaiti (black seabream) was priced between KD 5 and 5.500, and the Iranian one for KD 4.

‘Meid’ fishing
Yesterday was also the first day of meid (mullet) fishing after a ban that lasted for two months, according to a fishmonger. The price of the fish was between 750 fils and KD 1 for a kg, while in the past it used to be sold for KD 2. “The prices are very good, and people are buying. The prices dropped because 100 boats that were not allowed to fish re-launched their activities yesterday,” Akbar told Kuwait Times.

Costumers had varying opinions. While Saleem Al-Rashidi complained that prices are still high and agreed to continue the boycott, saying he won’t buy today, Abbas Ghanim noted that he is not boycotting anything as he can’t live without eating fish. “Fish is much healthier than chicken, and I would buy it whatever the price. I don’t believe in this boycott,” he stated.

Abu Mohammed, another fishmonger, denied that the boycott campaign had affected the prices. “The price of fish is set by supply and demand, which depends on the quantity received, and it does not matter if customers buy or boycott. So if we receive a bigger quantity, the prices will automatically drop. Fish will always be sold at the auction and there will always be a buyer. In fact, I only make between 250 and 500 fils for a kilo of most fish,” he pointed out.

By Nawara Fattahova