PETALING JAYA - The increase in prices of freshwater fish is only temporary and is caused by an increase in demand for the produce during the Chinese New Year season, says the Fisheries Department.
Its director-general Datuk Ahmad Sabki Mahmod said freshwater fish was a popular item at the dinner table during the festivity and this has caused the price to escalate.
He dismissed claims the increase was due to a hike in electricity tariff and petrol prices, adding that the department expected the price to return to the "pre-Chinese New Year" rates once the celebration is over.
"Consumers are now paying about 5 per cent to 10 per cent more than what they pay before the festivity for tilapia, keli (catfish), patin, rohu and the big head carp, and we expect this is only for the festive season.
"To cite increase in electricity rates and having to pay more for fuel as reasons for the hike is not accurate. We expect the price to go down to the pre-festive season rate once the Chinese New Year is over," he told The Star.
Perak Freshwater Breeders Association was reported to have said the price of several types of fish has gone up between 8 per cent and 12 per cent since early this month, citing reasons such as increases in electricity tariff and petrol prices.