ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s fish prices have seen a decline since last week, helped by kerosene supply and peak fishing season, government officials and private vendors said.
Fish prices had skyrocketed along with prices of other protein-based products like meat, chicken and egg, with consumers complaining that they could no longer afford a protein-rich diet.
“This is the season for fishermen and, after a long wait, fuel was received which has pushed the prices down,” Ceylon Fisheries Corporation Marketing Manager W D Yasantha told EconomyNext on Friday September 30.
“This is the first time in nearly a year that prices have dropped,” Yasantha said.
An official at private vender Sirilak Seafood from the Colombo suburb of Koswatta said prices of some fish varieties have gone down.
Fish prices had spiked since March this year as fisherfolk were deprived of kerosine to carry out their usual fishing activities at sea.
Kerosene was out of supply in Sri Lanka, angering and forcing fishermen to protest in the streets.
Fish prices skyrocketed due to scarce fuel and fishermen’s inability to continue fishing.
On Friday, vendors said there was most fish prices had declined by at least 20 percent. Thalapath was sold at 1,500 rupees per kilogramme, while Kellawalla was also 1,500 rupees. Previously both varieties were sold above 3,000 rupees a kilo.
Gold Strip Sardinella (Salaya) was sold at 540 rupees per kg, Amblygaster Srim (Hurullo) was 520 rupees and Linna was sold at 720 rupees – all were priced less than half its price last month.
Kerosene price was increased by around 300 percent in August, since which supply has improved, fishermen have said.
“This week we saw old faces back at the store,” said Pannipitiya-based DK Fresh Fish owner.
Prices of all protein sources in Sri Lanka — poultry, beef, mutton, eggs, and pork — have shot up and more than doubled this year and consumers have switched to cheaper alternatives or have reduced consumption. A fall in demand and an increase in supply of fish had also forced fishermen to reduce prices to attract consumers, analysts say. (Colombo/Sep30/2022)