Expatriate residents from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had been waiting for weeks for the arrival of freshwater fish from Bangladesh when a WhatsApp message left many of them disappointed. A WhatsApp message on the buyer’s group on Thursday read, ‘Fish import is restricted until further notice’.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, a Hamriya-based seller and importer of fish from Bangladesh said, “There is no dearth of frozen fish like rohu, katla, hilsa, pabda etc which are quite popular with South Asian buyers, but we did not get approval to import fresh fish from Bangladesh last week.”
When asked the reason behind the non-arrival of fresh catch, the seller said, “Earlier, the supplies had to undergo a lab test in Barka. Now, we have been told that the consignment has to be certified at a lab in Bangladesh itself before being sent to Oman.
“That will cost us more than US$700 apart from the lab testing cost in Oman. Our fresh catch consignment doesn’t exceed 300kg and after all this additional cost, we will hardly be left with any profit.”
Anant Ghosh, an Indian expat said, “Frozen fish is okay but nothing can beat the taste of fresh fish, be it in fried or curry form.”
Another Indian expatriate, Muthusamy S said, “I used to always eat sea fish but developed a liking for fresh rohu after eating at a Bangladeshi friend’s place. Even I visit Hamriya at least once a month to buy fresh fish.”
The Hamriya-based seller and importer added. “I have been getting so many calls every day and everyone is asking the same thing, ‘When will fresh fish be available next?’ We are hopeful a solution can be worked out.”
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