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DOHA: Qatar has banned the export of Hamour and Safi — two popular varieties of fish — to bring their prices down.
The ban is likely to be expanded to all other varieties, Al Sharq reported yesterday, quoting unidentified sources.
The authorities have also imposed a temporary ban on the hunting of crab. The move is intended to prevent any further hike in the prices, as supply has already dwindled due to a fall in the catch, this being the migration season, said the daily.
In a similar move, the authorities recently imposed a 50kg ceiling on vehicles transporting local fish to neighbouring countries for personal use.
The rising fish prices have become a hot topic in the country after a group of citizens launched a campaign on social media calling for immediate government action. Hamour and Safi are the two most popular varieties, especially among Qataris and their prices recently had gone up to QR70 and QR50 per kg, respectively.
The unusual rise has been attributed to a combination of factors ranging from the growing demand to manipulation of prices by traders and the middlemen in the central market.
According to figures released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA), demand for fish in the country has gone up by 20 per cent over the past five years, but the supply remains static at around 16,000 tonnes per year.
Over the next 20 years, the demand is expected to be double than the supply.
There have been calls to promote fish farming in the country to meet the growing demand and ensure price stability in the market. The Peninsula