Dry fish businessmen are stockpiling raw materials, as the fishing season draws to a close.
From 2013, the Fisheries Department, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, has been closing the fishing area and fixing the breeding season. This year, the season will close from 16 May to 15 August. Earlier, fishing was totally restricted during the prescribed closed season. However, the fishery department relaxed this rule, allowing 20 per cent of the fishing vessels to operate during the season in response to a request made by Myanmar offshore fishermen.
“The businessmen will try to go fishing, as 20 per cent of the fishing vessels are allowed to fish. However, they will not be able to make profits after deducting the labour costs. There will be shortage of supply in the market, and the price of raw materials will increase. Therefore, dry fish businessmen will stock them, no matter what,” said U Tun Sein, secretary of Myanmar Fish Paste, Dried Fish and Fish Sauce Producers Association.
Some 60 per cent of the merchants are piling up the raw materials, leading to the high price of fish in the market.
The rent of cold storages has also risen by Ks300 per viss, said U Tun Sein.
Dry fish merchants mainly depend on local consumption. Both freshwater and saltwater fish are being stocked.
“The price will be on the higher side with the supply shortage in the market, besides the high rent of cold warehouses,” he stated.
In 2013, fishing was closed for 45 days, with 75 per cent of vessels allowed to fish. The closed season extended to 60 days, with 65 per cent of the vessels authorised to fish in 2014, while in 2015, the period lasted 90 days, with 50 per cent of the vessels authorised to fish. Authorised fishing vessels were reduced to 40 per cent in 2016 and 30 per cent in 2017 during the 90 days of the closed period.
May Thet Hnin