Rising fuel prices put sea fishing “in trouble”
BMFA urges PMO to take action
FE REPORT |
Aug 21, 2022 8:32:20 a.m.
August 21, 2022 11:38:09
The local marine fishing sector is now in deep trouble due to the recent rise in fuel oil prices in the country, according to industry insiders.
They asked the government to supply diesel at previous prices for the survival of the sector.
The Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Association (BMFA) has recently urged the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to take necessary measures to overcome the situation.
A concerned official said, “We have received the letter and are working on it.”
The association, in its letter, said the price of diesel had increased by 42%. Operators in the sector are now in play, as their fuel costs have almost doubled in the last eight months.
The main costs of the sector are fuel, maintenance and seafarer salaries. Diesel is the main source of fuel for the operation of trawlers and fishing vessels. According to the BMFA, about 70% of the money needed to operate a ship is spent on buying fuel oil.
In addition, the amounts of bank loans and interest as well as salaries and allowances in the sector are gradually increasing. But, the prices of fish, collected by ships or trawlers, do not increase to the desired level.
The BMFA claimed that the prices of local sea fish had dropped significantly due to the importation of these fish. Substandard and poor quality sea fish have been imported, although the country is self-sufficient in fish production.
The association feared that the sector could be closed and that a large number of people involved in this sector would be unemployed and turn into defaulters, if the current situation continues.
The marine fishing sector collected 0.65 million tonnes of sea fish in the last fiscal year to meet local protein demand. Its contribution was about 3.52% and 26.37% respectively to the national GDP and to the agricultural sector.
BMFA members obtain a license and registration from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Shipping respectively for their fishing vessels.
Currently, some 80 BMFA member companies catch fish and shrimp on the high seas with 200 vessels.