The people of Al-Hasakah replace meat with fish; “unpopular meal” but not expensive

Enab Baladi – Majd al-Salem

Unlike in previous months before noon, the fish on sale at the stall of Hussainawi al-Barho, 45, almost ran out, which made him “happy”.

Al-Barho, who took up a position to sell fish at the entrance to al-Hal market, the main market in the northeast town of Qamishli, told Enab Baladi that the demand for fish has increased in the last few days after the “unprecedented” increase in the prices of other types of meat, because he used to go all day without selling the entire quantity, and was forced to keep the remaining part until the following day.

Currently, al-Barho sells about 90 kg of fish per day at the price of SYP 7,000 per kilo, while the price of one kilogram of red meat (sheep, cow) is around SYP 22,000, and chickens 8 SYP 500 per kilo, which makes fish the best and most affordable choice for the consumer, given the deteriorating value of the Syrian pound against the dollar.

Many fishmongers spread out at the crossroads of the main axes and in the central markets or survey the districts of the city with their cars and their carts, and sometimes the sellers take place outside the city on the roads connecting the different cities. of the governorate.

Strong demand

Vendors’ demand for fish meat has increased throughout al-Hasakah governorate, and fishing has become a source of income for many in the governorate, “more than a pastime for personal enjoyment”. , Alwan al-Hamid, a fisherman from the city of al-Hasakah, said Enab Baladi.

He explained that the fishermen in the region deliver the required quantities from several places, including the al-Hasakah dam lake in the south, 25 kilometers away, the al-Hasakah dam in the east and west, the al-Hasakah dam -Jawadiyah and Bab al-Hadid.

According to al-Hamid, there are currently several types of fish on the market, including the “red turkey”, and its main source is the Euphrates in the governorates of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, as well as common carp and catfish. .

The fisherman felt that the profession of fisherman, “like other professions, is not free from problems”, such as the chaos of fishing operations which has affected the size of the fishing wealth and the adoption of fishing methods. unfair fishing.

Illegal methods used by some fishermen include shoveling, using dynamite, poisoning, and using fishing nets with very small holes that “trap young fish and prevent them from maturing and complete their life cycle” and fishing during mating. and breeding period which extends from March to May each year.

According to what Enab Baladi monitored, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) organized and prevented hunting operations during the breeding season and granted a special card to fishermen,

This was rejected by most recreational anglers and those who go to the lakes to picnic and fish while traveling, but these procedures remained unenforced “as required”.

healthy, best choice

Saadia al-Salmo, 51, said Enab Baladi that fish has become an option for his family because of the difference between its cost and the cost of other meats, adding, “For one kilogram of meat, I buy about three kilograms of fish, enough for a whole month.

Qamishli-based nutrition expert Harith al-Blaibel said Enab Baladi that by comparing different types of meat with fish meat, we find that fish meat comes first in terms of health, as it is a rich source of high quality protein and low in harmful fats, recommending that be consumed twice a week.

But the dominant culture in the region and the mode of consumption associated with customs and traditions make people prefer red meat and chicken to fish.

Fishmeal is still not considered a popular dish, and people’s knowledge of fish farming methods is not at the required level, and the current demand will change meat consumption habits in the region, according to al-Blaibel.

The nutrition expert explained that fish contains a high percentage of omega-3, which improves the functioning of the nervous system, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and rheumatism, protects against cancer and promotes health cardiac.

Fish is also a source of many vitamins and minerals that the body needs on a daily basis, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, potassium, amino acids and fatty acids. .

(1 USD = 3000 SYP due to the Central Bank, but the pound is trading around 5200 per dollar)

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