Local fisheries company Big Fish Maldives, on Thursday, expressed concern over a drop in Yellowfin Tuna prices by 30 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that local medias have falsely reported on the price since July.
According to the company, discrepancies in reported figures and actual cost of tuna prices are caused by an issue stemming from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture's 'Keyolhu' portal and the system in which fishermen submit financial reports.
Big Fish Maldives attributed the drop in prices to a 74 percent increase in air freight to Europe.
Additionally, the company noted that 40 percent of the average price charged for Yellowfin Tuna represented the value of the product, while air freight costs were also at 40 percent of the price. In 2019, the corresponding figures were recorded at 57 percent and 23 percent respectively.
Big Fish revealed that that fish processing and recurrent expenditure such as employee salaries, operations costs for factories and fees paid to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), amounted to roughly 14-17 percent of price.
The company expressed that it would not be viable to continue operations if the combination of the aforementioned expenditures and air freight costs exceed 80 percent of the price.
Should fish export expenditures remain unfeasible for local companies, Big Fish warned that the Maldives fisheries industry could collapse.