Wednesday, August 17

Bad weather pushes fish prices up sky-high

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MIRI: The price of fish has increased by almost 50 per cent due to the bad weather which has prevented small fishing boats from going out to sea.Chairman of Miri Fishermen Association, Ahmad Lamat, said low supply had caused the price of fish to rise between 30 and 50 per cent.

“Fishermen have not been able to go out to sea since Wednesday. This is affecting  the price of fish. For example, fish which sells for RM1 per kg now sells for RM1.50,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Nevertheless, he said, the situation   is  temporary and could go on for two weeks.

He urged consumers to understand the fishermen’s predicament for the time being and not to whine about the high fish price.

“It is very dangerous to go to sea right now. I am sure that the prices will return to normal once the weather had improved,” he said.

At the moment only a small number of fishermen, particularly those with bigger boats are at sea.

As to how his association is getting along, Ahmad said some 300 small-time fishermen have registered as its members.

The members are from Miri, Bekenu, Kuala Baram, Sibuti and Bakam.

To those fishermen who wish to go to sea to get in touch with the Meteorological Department in order to get the latest weather reports and guidelines.

“I advise fishermen not to go to sea in bad weather because we do not want bad things to happen to them. They must always get weather updates to be safe,” he said.

The Meteorological Department Miri said the strong east/northeasterly winds of 50 to 60 kilometres per hour (kmph) with waves up to 4.5 metres over the waters off Sabah, Labuan Federal Territory, Sarawak, Bunguran, Reef South, Condore, Reef North, Layang-Layang, Palawan and Sulu are expected to continue until next Monday.

The department added that the strong winds and rough seas are dangerous to all shipping and coastal activities including fishing and ferry services.