The fish market at Umm Slal Central Market has seen a considerable supply of local fish in good quantity, which helped in bringing down prices, in particular after the Eid holidays, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported on Friday.
Both vendors and customers at the market expressed their satisfaction regarding the supply and prices in the recent period. Besides, the varieties which used to be imported from the blockading countries were replaced by those imported from Turkey and India, in addition to other places.
The current prices at the market are considered competitive and reasonable for the time of the year with small fish starting from less than QR10 per kg. The prices vary from one type of fish to another. Hamour fish was selling for QR40 per kg.
Workers cleaning fish at Umm Slal Market
Ali Rasheed, a vendor at the market, said that the blockade on Qatar had no adverse impact on the fish market, as the local produce is more than enough to meet the demand. In addition, the local catch reaches the market and in turn the consumers in a very short time after being caught.
He pointed out that the prices of fish have dropped considerably recently. For instance Safi was down to QR15 per kg from QR30, King fish dropped to QR25 from QR40, and Sheri fell to QR8 to QR10.
Nasser Shabib, another vendor, pointed out that the prices of fish have been stable as the country enjoys a good catch due to the proper environmental strategies that allow fish to breed and multiply. He said that demand on fish has always been good, especially from hotels and restaurants, and the available quantities are always enough to cover such a high demand. In particular demand is high on Sheri, King fish and Hamour varieties.
Ali al-Yazidi, a customer, stressed that Umm Slal market is an important place to get fresh fish, meat, vegetables and fruits. However, more should be done to promote the market in order to attract a broader base of customers.
Mohamed Khalifa, another customer, said that he never felt any shortage of fish at the market as all his requirements have been available there and in good quantities. Besides, the prices of fish were not negatively influenced by the blockade.
Large King fish price remains high
The price of King fish, a much sought after variety, has been high at some hypermarkets in Doha, some customers said. "While big King fish was selling for a very high price of QR99 on Thursday at a hypermarket, the small variety was pegged at QR34.75," a customer explained.
King fish is in demand both among Qataris and expatriates.
"Unlike, many other varieties of fish, in the case of King fish, the taste is better if the fish is big, causing a surge in demand for the big type," another observed. "I had bought medium size King fish for QR84 per kg sometime during May or June this year," he recalled.