Women cry over hike in cost of fish
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: Fish is an essential nutrient of a healthy dietary intake, as it is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and also a flushed protein source.
However, this necessary healthy affordable nutrient is rapidly becoming a luxury due to the continual hike in its price.
This has raised concern among fish mongers as sales are slow because customers find it expensive these days and profit continues to dwindle.
Fish monger Mariatu Sesay explained that the cost of fish is increasing day after day and petty traders now “find it very difficult to buy a bag of fish.” Adding that before now a bag of fish was Le 180,000 now it is Le 320,000 she said.
The fish monger also stressed that sales are slow these day, “not that there is not enough fish, but because people cannot afford to buy even though, they are willing to buy.”
The market price of fish is rising by the day, making it impossible for average Sierra Leoneans to acquire fish as part of their daily meal.
Fish provides protein to almost 50% of Sierra Leoneans who live below the poverty level.
However, she suggested that government should consider their constraints and re-examine taxation of fishing companies.
According to the Manager of Sierra Frozen, Abdel Aziz the core determinant of fish prices is the US dollar. “The current exchange rate of the US dollar is what is affecting the prices of the fish,” he said
Random customers interviewed at Krootown Road market emphasised that government should intervene to help regulate the price as fish is an essential nutrient that should not be lacking.
Sierra Leone’s yearly fish output is 150,000 metric tonnes. The fishing industry contributes around 12% of the country’s GDP and is expected to account for 80% of animal protein intake. OG/2/12/2021