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Shrimp Prices Soar in Kuwait

Crustaceans Sustainability Economics +5 more

KUWAIT - Shrimp prices have shot up in Kuwait due to low supply and excessive demand.

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The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) manages the shrimping season so as to give shrimp enough time to reproduce.

Shrimp harvesting is banned from January 15 until mid-August, but one can find imported shrimps from India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other sources in the market during these months, though in limited amount, reports the KuwaitTimes.

“The supply is very low; you know restaurants in Kuwait nowadays have sprouted like mushrooms so the individual consumers are competing with the huge demand from commercial establishments, many of which also get their supplies in the fish market. This makes prices rise,” explained Jalal Majid, an official from the fish market at Souq Al-Mubarakiya.

The price of shrimp per kilo reached KD6 for jumbo size and KD3 to KD4 for medium size in both Mubarakiya and the Souq Sharq fish market.

There has been earlier proposal to allow only Kuwaitis participating in public fish auctions held daily in the fish market, but those proposals have yet to be implemented.

Faisal Al-Hasawi, Deputy Director General for Fish Resources at the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources was quoted in local media: “This proposal comes out of our keenness to supply fish and shrimps to the Kuwaiti market at reasonable prices,” he said.

He added that allowing the public, including restaurants and companies, to bid for fish has caused prices to rise to high levels, effectively ‘depriving’ Kuwaitis from “getting their (fair) share.”

One proposal requires customers to show their civil IDs as a way to make sure that only Kuwaitis enter the bidding process, while expatriates would be required to buy directly from vendors. Another proposal calls for allocating a weekly share for Kuwaitis to take by showing their civil ID at the auction.