President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stated that the government is to prevent exports of fish in order to control the prices of the cheapest source of protein for Egyptians.
The president explained on Tuesday during a conference that Egypt used to export 40 tonnes annually, whereas last year witnessed the export of 120,000 tonnes, which raised the price of fish and made the government halt exports.
Inflation jumped by 30% in the past months, which increased the cost of basic commodities such as food, which made the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, state that the government must focus on inflation while implementing the economic reforms.
Fish witnessed price increases of 90%.
Al-Sisi said the government is working on controlling the prices of food and necessary goods according to the mechanisms of the free market.
However, the president did not mention any dates for the implementation of the decision or how long it will be in effect.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) published a report about fish production in Egypt, titled “2017 Annual Bulletin of Fish Production Statistics for 2015,” which was issued on 20 February.
The report showed that Egypt’s total fish production reached 1.53 million tonnes in 2015, compared to 1.48 million tonnes in 2014—an increase of 2.5%—due to greater output from fish farms and rice fields.
CAPMAS stated that the total production of fish farms and rice fields ranked first, with 1.5 million tonnes, followed by lake production with 171,500 tonnes, marine waters with 102,900 tonnes, and finally fresh water production with 69,700 tonnes.