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Fisheries: Prices Of Imported Fish Skyrocket

Cameroon Tribune | Citizens complain the price hike is worsened by the fact that available fish is of doubtful quality.

Many households that consume fish on a regular basis are apparently looking for alternatives following the current shortage of the product in cold stores across the country. Some customers who lined up to purchase assorted species of fish at the main fish store in the Mvog Atangana Balla neighbourhood in Yaounde, yesterday told Cameroon Tribune that it has been more than one week, they have been grappling with the shortage of fish coupled with an increase in prices. “A kilogram of the fish I just bought was sold at FCFA 900 two weeks ago. Today I am buying a kilogram at the cost of FCFA 1000 per kilogram.

I learned there is a shortage but we do not know the reason,” one of the customers who preferred not to be named said. He also added that it would appear the fish sold at the moment had been imported long ago and was not stored properly. “Some of them look like they are decaying,” he said. Eric Marius Bilegue, owner of a fish store in the Mvog Atangana Balla blames the shortage on major importers of fish.

He says prices of fish fluctuate at a disturbing rate. He is of the opinion that government should not tighten regulation on importation of fish and prevent importers from re-exporting imported fish from the Douala seaport to other countries when it is insufficient for local consumption. He also thinks importers, like CONGELCAM and Queen Fish should not be allowed to operate retail shops.

“Mackerel and the bar fish are the most consumed fishes. They have suddenly become very expensive. One week ago, I bought 20kg of Bar Corvine at FCFA 26, 000, this week it is sold at FCFA 29, 000. I was retailing the same fish at FCFA1, 400 per kilogram but now I am obliged to raise it to FCFA 1,600.

The cost of 60kg of thon fish has suddenly jumped from FCFA 20, 000 to FCFA 27, 000.” Meanwhile, a source in one of the wholesale/retail stores of CONGELCAM that craved anonymity acknowledged there is a shortage in fish supply but noted “we are sure to have more fish in the days ahead.”

He however argues price fluctuation is not arbitrary as some retailers think. We have the wholesale prices displayed on the board outside and retail prices are very visible on every refrigerator. He also refuted allegations that price control agents from the Ministry of Trade permit them to manipulate prices, but sanctions other retailers.

The CONGELCAM staff also pointed out that while they are increasing prices of some fish, they are equally reducing those of some species like Carp, ‘Pelon’, smallsized catfish, among others

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7 comments

  1. When local bodies of water run dry of fish, we repopulate them!!!!!!!

    Sanitize our waters (avoid dumping the debris of our civilization in them), contact friendly countries and import seedlings to repopulate. Barombi Kotto, Barombi Mbo, Awing, Mbo Yakum, Manenguba and lots of other lakes in the country can be made to provide fish again!!!!! Foreign aid could also come in the way of provision of fish stocks for local growth. But we must first stop polluting the rivers and lakes with car wash scum!

    The present crisis can be an eye opener in more ways than one. In addition to encouraging enterprising local business magnates in the above direction, this is also time to consider buying and equipping schools, offices, universities and possibly the National Assembly with easy-to-manipulate fire

    • extinguishers. Instead of waiting for fire engines that get bogged in traffic jams, citizens in the vicinity of some of our disastrous fires could go to work and operate fire extinguishers on every floor of the National Assembly, Fermencam Douala University, Kombone village, Sacred Heart College and the others that suffered arson of unknown origin.

      Buy affordable fire extinguishers. They are within reach.

      • 237 is there

        @John Dinga

        It is always a pleasure for me to read you. Thanks for your wisdom….

        But sometimes you use good arguments to defend the wrong ideas.

        But as I said before it is always great pleasure for me to read you.

        • Thanks pal. Of course I lay no claims to perfection. All I do is generate ideas and titillate the appetite for exploration and exploitation. By all means fill any lacunes you find in my postulation.

      • When government security forces are the arsonist then no amount of water sprinklers can solve problem. Peoples homes burnt in Manyu and Meme (Kombone, Kwakwa) in extrajudicial and unlawful retaliation for local fighting with faceless separatist guerrillas. This scorch earth policy unifies Ambazonia against Cameroun.

        The specific issue of this article animal protein from fish. Nothing stops people from farming fish in rivers and lakes or harvesting from the sea. People should avoid animals anyway, being sources of many diseases including cardiovascular ailments.

  2. Why are foreigners fishing in our waters when we import fish and with accompanying
    situations?
    And in our markets / stores, nothing expires.

    • [email protected] agree and when they do they dont abide with the minimum of maritime law .trawlers that litterally scrap the surfaces create long term damage and fishing in the spawning period seriously depletes resurves.Cooling electric facilities eat fish too as the bay of new york found out ending up with no fish to fish until they ordered protective fencing to stop the carnage be placed by the owners..Does Cameroon use these type of facilities ? Dams supposedly have to have a sort of side passage for fish to backtrack …..
      Theres an interesting ( pretty long one ) report about shrimps in Cameroons seas and rivers and the delicate balence needed to keep them .
      Can anyone of the fishing areas enlighten us more on possible reasons the problems arising ?