Increased demand for fish ahead of March 25 – How much is trafficked from the occupied territories

What fish do Cypriot consumers choose for the table on March 25 and where do prices fluctuate in the fish market

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Consumer demand for fish purchases has increased these days in Cyprus ahead of the March 25 celebration. Every year on the day of the Annunciation, which falls within the Lenten fast of Easter, the church makes an exception and allows the consumption of fish. Therefore, it is a tradition for Greeks everywhere on the day of our national anniversary to choose to fill our table with fish.

The owner of a fish market in Nicosia, Andreas Louras, explains that from yesterday Thursday, today and until tomorrow, Saturday, March 25, consumer demand for buying fish is "very, very high". As he reports, the fish that are in the greatest demand this three-day period are the sea bream, which costs 10 euros per kilo, the bream, which costs 8-9 euros per kilo, and the sea bass, which costs 12-16 euros per kilo. As he clarifies, the prices remain the same throughout the year and do not show increases due to the increased demand of the days.

The stability of prices is also confirmed to Economy Today by the fish market sales manager in Latsi, Kostas Kontakis, saying that prices are the same as last year, with the exception that salt cod is cheaper this year compared to last year, with prices amounting to 15 euros per kilo from 17 euros, respectively.

As he notes, the seasonal marida is in great demand this month, as March is the month of marida, costing 7 euros per kilo. Gopa and sardine are slightly more expensive at 10 euros per kilo.

Also, the cultivated fagri and the cultivated skull cost 18 and 15 euros per kilo respectively, while the lythrinii and the blackberry cost 20 euros per kilo. In the list of the most expensive fish are mullets with a price of 24 - 26 euros per kilo, grouper and grouper at 26 euros per kilo, soles at 28 euros per kilo and sole at 33 - 35 euros per kilo.

As Mr. Kontakis adds, most of the fish are from Cyprus, Greece and some are imported from various countries, such as for example some groupers from the Atlantic ocean. To meet the needs of the market, several sellers buy fish that are legally traded from the occupied areas, such as groupers, groupers or seasonal mullet.

Trafficking of fish from the occupied territories

According to data provided by the Veterinary Services to Economy Today, throughout the year an average of around 10 tons of fresh fish are traded from the holdings per month. A typical catch that passes through in March is the flounder, which in 2022 made up 1/6 of the total amount of fresh catch that passed through the barrage. The fish that are trafficked in large quantities are gopa and curkuna. Followed by marida, menula, orfos, skaros, cuttlefish and strilia. As a general observation, it is mentioned that the passing quantities increase from February - March and remain relatively stable until the beginning of autumn.

Fresh catches must be destined for retail outlets, restaurants or sold directly to consumers and accompanied by a document issued by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. They pass through the barricade of Agios Dometios after a relevant control regarding the hygiene criteria and the organoleptic characteristics carried out by the Veterinary Officers of the Veterinary Services.

In accordance with European Commission (EC) Decision 2007/330, independent experts appointed by the Directorate-General for Health carry out regular inspections of fishing vessels in the Turkish Cypriot community in order to ascertain whether these vessels comply with EU hygiene standards. fresh catches must be landed directly from fishing vessels on which they have been kept for less than 24 hours.

Those fishing vessels that comply with the requirements are allowed to trade their fresh catch through the Green Line. There are currently 247 fishing vessels that comply and are included in the list published by the EU. The transit of catches started in June 2008.

Source: Economy Today