9 April 2021, Manaung
Some seafood wholesale businesses in Arakan State have suspended operations due to instability in the country following the military’s seizure of power on February 1, resulting in workers from the fishery industry in hardships.
U Khin Maung Yi, a seafood trader in Manaung town, said some seafood wholesale businesses in Taungup, Manaung, Kyaukphyu, Thandwe, Ramree, Pauktaw and Sittwe townships, which are mainly trading in fish, prawn and crab, are facing difficulties as traders in central Myanmar have halted purchasing orders.
“The main reason is that there is no trading. We do not have a market to distribute our seafood because there are no consumers due to instability in the country. So, they halt the purchasing order,” he said.
Some seafood markets have been hit since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 but even at the peak of coronavirus cases in Arakan State last year, it was not as bad as things today, said Ko Min Min, a seafood buyer from Ramree Township.
“We had to distribute seafood regularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business could operate well though the price was not good. Now, it is relatively difficult to operate the business,” he said.
Since the State Administration Council shut off the internet access, seafood wholesale businesses that buy fishery products are facing difficulty to circulate money. They will face bankruptcy if they have to endure such a situation over a prolonged period, said U Aung Thu Win, a seafood dealer.
Wholesale businesses have had to hold fish and prawn for many days, and they are facing losses.
Ko Min Naing, a prawn and crab farmer in Ramree Township, said fish and prawn breeders are also facing livelihood difficulties as the wholesale businesses have suspended their buying processes.
“The wholesalers do not buy fish and prawn. So, we cannot do anything. We were affected in the COVID-19 pandemic and this time. Our situation is worse,” he said.