The price of fish has doubled over the past two months because an unusual increase in demand has coincided with the annual migration of sea creatures seeking deep waters to cool down. Omar al Mazrouei, the chairman of Dubai Fishermen Cooperative Association, explained: "Temperature increase in the water causes fish to move to deeper waters."
Also, he said, fish stocks are shrinking because of an increase in improper fishing practices. "The UAE is now in [a] danger zone of diminishing fish supply." According to Ali Mohammed Mansour al Mansouri, the Abu Dhabi Fishermen Cooperative Society manager, prices have risen this year more than previous years partly because fewer Emiratis are willing to go with fishing boats, as required by law.
"Fewer boats go out fishing in the summer because of the heat and now even fewer go because of a lack of Emiratis to go out with them," said Mr al Mansouri. At the Abu Dhabi fish market tuna prices have doubled to Dh20 per kilo since June. Prices for other fish at the market have also increased significantly. Kingfish once Dh30 per kilo has risen 66 per cent to Dh50 while the price of hammour was up to Dh45 per kilo, 50 per cent above the earlier price of Dh30.
Customers, however, were not deterred. "When the weather is good we enjoy the lower prices. So now it is the fishermen and fish vendors' turn to enjoy higher prices," said Mohamed al Mazrouei, a customer at the capital fish market. firstname.lastname@example.org * With additional reporting by Hadeel al Sayegh