Fish demand, limited offer hike prices in Ramadan

August 10, 2012

The heatwave sweeping across the region and Ramadan culinary traditions have dramatically pushed up the price of fish in the island kingdom of Bahrain.

“The soaring temperatures in the middle of the summer and the reduction of the number of fishing trips have had their impact on the prices,” Nasser Al Sitrawi, a fish salesman in Manama, said. “Not many fishermen are ready to venture out in Ramadan due to physical fatigue and harsh working conditions and this cuts down the availability of the fish by around 60 per cent. In addition, people rush to buy fish for the special Ramadan and Eid culinary traditions. The lack of balance between offer and demand has deeply affected the prices.”

Restaurants and hotels keen on serving seafood to their customers have been regular purchasers of fish, he said.

According to Adel Hassan, the high prices have pushed many families to avoid fish and seek poultry and meat.

“However, families will go back to buying fish just before the end of the holy month because of the culinary traditions associated with Eid,” he said. “The new rush to buy fish will push their prices higher, maybe by 50 per cent, and will make heavy demands on the people’s wallets,” he said.

Adel Jasem, a government employee from the fishing village of Budaya, said that he could not conceive spending a day in Ramadan without consuming fish.

“It is a tradition that we have duly preserved in our family and I do not want to give it up,” he said. “We have always had fish, at the very least in soup, and we will pay the high price to keep it.”

Although Ramadan is the month of abstinence during which adult Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset to test their patience and compassion, evening meals at home or in restaurants are often sumptuous and feature a multitude of food.

Calls by religious figures to limit food consumption and to uphold the spirit of the month are often set aside by culinary traditions and food is often wasted.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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