A shortage of fish is in the offing. This is due to large consumption on the local market.
This was declared by Belall Taher cold storage director Belall Khan Taher.
He added that the number of fish in our waters has already started declining.
“A challenging year awaits the fishing industry. For the time being we cannot satisfy the public as we have a shortage of manpower to fulfill their requests,” he said.
Taher added, “A fishing session costs us Rs 1.5 million for a campaign of 30 days. Vessels that catch fresh fish stay for 12 days and those that freeze fish stay for 30 days or more.”
Fish is actually easily available across the island and at an affordable price but this will not be the case in the coming months with the arrival of winter season when fish will be scarce.
Boats do not have specialised equipment for fishing hence vessels may come back with 50 per cent less fish.
In the next 20 years, fish will become scarce and may disappear because fishing banks are depleting.
Taher also pointed out that the price of fish is set to increase.
“Given the rising price of petroleum products, and also that fish is becoming scarce, the price of fish will increase drastically,” he said.
Taher added that in the future, fish will become rare due to natural disasters like the tsunami, which fortunately the island has not faced yet.
He also underlined that the surge in oil prices will have a negative impact on the price of fish due to the large amount of fuel used by boats during campaigns.
“We are worried about this because the authorities have not yet taken action to protect us against natural disasters,” he said.
Taher added that the major challenge that operators face is bad weather.
“We hope that the industry does not suffer too much, otherwise people will not have fish to eat,” he said
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