Fishermen flay government for not setting minimum sale price
August 19, 2012: Financially-struggling fishermen, who are unable to get a better payoff for their catch, have criticised the government for not setting a minimum sale price in the country’s largest fisheries market The government, fishermen said, should set a threshold price for seafood catch, primarily for the export-oriented sector, so that they could survive huge losses.
“Jaira shrimp is priced at Rs 750 per kg at the beginning of the new fishing season, which is unexpectedly lower for the financially weak fishermen,” President of the Native Islanders Fishermen Association (Nifa) Asif Bhatti told Business Recorder. Fishermen were expecting at least Rs 1,350 per kg for the Jaira shrimp, but buyers were reluctant to give a better price for the fresh catch.
“There is no buying activity in the fish market on account of Eid holidays. The landing of fresh catch has now been temporarily halted,” he said. Other shrimp varieties, including Kiddi and Kalari were also not fetching better prices since the beginning of August.
“The price of Kalari is Rs 300 per kg and Kiddi is being bought for just Rs 70 per kg,” he said. He said that dull market had depressed fishermen’s already weak financial position. He said the seafood catch is also lower at this time. Criticising the government for not setting a minimum acceptable price for seafood catch on the market, he said that buyers’ monopoly has badly affected the fishermen.
The only fish specie which is landing in large volumes is Chakori. “But again, we are forced to sell it at just Rs 18 per kg, which is quite lower than fishermen ‘sexpectations.” He said fishermen are left with no choices. “We either have to sell fish to buyers at whatever price they are willing to offer or abandon fishing,” he said.