Two expatriate fishermen have been deported for refusing to go out fishing and urging other fishermen to protest against the recent decision by the ministry of commerce and Industry to ban expatriates from participating in fish auctions.
According to reliable sources, the two fishermen, both Egyptian nationals, were reportedly deported by the ministry of interior on request from the commerce ministry. The commerce ministry is also understood to have forwarded the names of another group of expatriate fishermen who the sources said would be deported shortly.
The commerce ministry coordinated with the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources and the Public Authority for Manpower to check violations by expat workers as well as fishermen at the fish market and to register their names with the three entities for further action.
Meanwhile, the agriculture authority is contemplating the issuance of new fishing licenses to Kuwaiti youth in line with the recommendations made by the parliament to promote and support small business projects by nationals.
Earlier the Kuwait Competition Protection Agency said that it would investigate alleged practices harmful to competition in the fish market, which were reported widely in the media. Following an inspection by a monitoring team, the agency’s Executive Director Dr. Abdullah Al-Uwaisi asserted that the agency was pursuing all measures to address monopoly in order to guarantee fair prices for all consumers.
Uwaisi officially asked the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for documents related to the alleged violations monitored by the ministry’s inspectors at the fish market. The agency is a government department tasked with monitoring competition in markets in Kuwait.
The commerce ministry’s new circular released last week helped drop prices before a reported fishermen strike caused prices to soar back to their original high rates. Ministry inspectors were present at the daily auction to monitor the implementation of the new circular, which was imposed with hopes of preventing alleged manipulation of prices. The circular had been released in response to complaints that auctioneers, who are mostly expatriates, allegedly raise the prices to increase their profits. The circular stipulates that expatriates are not allowed to enter fish auctions unless authorized.