KAPIT: Prices for local freshwater fish have skyrocketed as strong demand for Chinese New Year has outstripped the already low supply.
Ikan empurau is now being sold for RM700 per kg compared to RM550 last year, while the price of ikan tengadak has risen to RM370 per kg from RM250 last year.
The price of other local fish such as ikan semah (RM150 per kg from RM110), ikan menggalan (RM150 per kg from RM 80), ikan padi (RM120 per kg from RM55), ikan lajung (RM70 per kg from RM50), ikan patin and ikan tapah (RM40 to RM45 per kg from RM35) have also risen.
Ikan patin, ikan tapah and ikan lajung have not been available since two weeks ago.
A logging camp operator, who placed an order for 10 ikan patin a month ago, was disappointed to find that the fishmonger could only sell one fish to him.
Many Kapit folk have not been able to buy local freshwater fish for themselves and have been forced to purchase red tilapia as an alternative.
In Sibu the fish sells for RM8 per kg but in Kapit it is priced at RM15 per kg.
Fish is a must among many families for the Chinese New Year’s Eve reunion dinner because it symbolises prosperity and good luck.