By Meshaal Al-Enezi

KUWAIT: Kuwait Fishermen Union expressed concerns about the repercussions of the continued closure of fish markets in Sharq and Fahaheel, especially after complaints from customers about high prices and lack of availability of many types of fish in markets that were designated to buy fish from the main fish markets and sell them after vending stands in the main markets were closed.

The union asked the health and municipality ministers to reopen the Sharq and Fahaheel fish markets that are considered a lifeline not only for fishermen, but also for consumers, who used to get various types of fresh local fish. The union found it strange to not open the fish markets despite the opening of the fruit and vegetable markets and slaughterhouses, adding that this contributed to creating a black market and other markets that sell fish at higher prices because they are not bought from those allowed to enter the market.

The union said the closure of the market has affected many families financially, adding that there are over 160 vending stands at Sharq market and 45 in Fahaheel, and the closure has caused many problems for fishermen and vendors and deprived them of much of their daily income. The consumer also suffers from the rise in prices and the loss of many local fish due to the lack of competition and closure of the fish markets and vending stands.

The union wants to assure consumers and fishermen that it is exerting efforts in contacting concerned authorities to reopen markets under the precautionary measures, adding that despite the letters the union sent to concerned authorities, no reply was received from the health ministry so far. The union asked Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah to consider the letter that was sent to the undersecretary 10 days ago and send his approval to the Municipality to reopen the market, bearing in mind that restaurants and supermarkets are open and sell fish, while the main source of fish is closed.