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Abu Dhabi farm project to provide fish at lower prices

posted on 25/09/2011: 3712 views

UAE residents will be able to buy some of their favourite fish at lower prices, when Abu Dhabi's ambitious plan to establish the largest fish farm in the country materialises in the near future.

The Abu Dhabi Fishermen's Cooperative Society says the project will be able to curb increasing fish prices due to dwindling fish stocks in the sea.

"The farm will breed some of the more costly fish such as hammour [orange-spotted grouper], Shaari [spangled emperor], Safi Arabi [white-spotted spinefoot/rabbitfish], and shrimps. But we will give preference to some small popular fish which can be sold for around Dh10 to Dh15 per kilo," a senior official told Gulf News.

"The preference for small popular fish is to help middle-class families; everybody in the country cannot afford big, costly fish," Ali Mohammad Mansour Al Mansouri, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Fishermen's Cooperative Society, said in an interview.

The farm will be able to supply fish to not only Abu Dhabi market but to other emirates as well, he said.

The project to establish the farm is ready and the society is waiting for land from the government to start the project, he said.

Without mentioning the size of the farm and the cost, Al Mansouri said it will be the biggest in the country.

"There are small fish farms in the country which are not enough to meet the increasing demand for fish in the market," he said.

"We have requested land anywhere near the sea, because a channel can be built to link the farm and the sea," Al Mansouri said.

Some farms set up in the sea failed because the nets were broken and the fish were damaged by disturbances like red tide, he explained.

The society regularly conducts environmental awareness sessions for fishermen.

It will also ensure fish market workers in Al Mina do not overuse chopping boards.

Prices ease

Fish prices increased up to 70 per cent during the peak of summer.

But when the temperature started to drop, prices also eased, said Ali Mohammad Mansour Al Mansouri, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Fishermen's Cooperative Society. Prices go up during summer because boats cannot make regular fishing trips, which affects the supply, he said. When the temperature drops, boats make more trips — bringing more supply. He said the price of some fish had gone down by 50 per cent after Eid.

Prices at Al Mina Fish Market last Sunday (in kg):

• Hammour [orange-spotted grouper], Dh65-Dh70

• Shaari [spangled emperor], Dh25-Dh30

• Safi Arabi (white-spotted spinefoot/rabbitfish), Dh25

• Salmon Dh35

• Lobster Dh75

• Tiger shrimp Dh55. – Gulf News


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