Fish cartel buying ‘bangus’ at P10/kg

THE fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya urged local government units around the 90,000-hectare Laguna Lake to investigate fish traders buying milkfish at P10 per kilogram and big head at P3 per kilogram.

The organization said the farm gate price is very low and is not acceptable to the 18,000 small fishers around the lake.

Reports reaching Pamalakaya revealed a cartel of fish traders operating in Laguna Lake are buying milk fish from a high of P25 per kilogram to P10 per kilogram, which Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice chairman, said is way below the prevailing market price of P50 per kilogram.

France said before typhoon “Basyang,” farm gate prices of bangus and big head were pegged at an average of P40 and P20 per kilogram, respectively.

He said fish traders are making huge profits by selling milk fish at P80 per kilogram and big head at 40 per kilogram to fish retailers and vendors.

“The small fisherfolk are exploited, the fish eating public is summarily abused by the fish cartel operating like a long-running syndicate in Laguna Lake,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said they will file a collective petition to raise the farm gate price of milkfish by an average of P40 to P50 per kilogram and big head by an average of P20 per kilogram to compensate for the rising cost of production. D’Jay Lazaro

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