The old Jeddah fish market is suffering from bad trading practices and a lack of hygiene, its customers have told Makkah daily.
Jeddah Municipality is currently working on a new fish market in the city. The old market had 120 stalls and 80 workers but there were many complaints about prices, workers and hygiene.
Customers complained that there is no regulation of prices. Vendors charge an extra SR2 for peeling the skin of 1 kg of fish and illegal expatriate workers would also ask for an extra charge, it was claimed.
In addition, they said there were no health regulations or inspection campaigns. The market was full of pests and insects because the waste would pile up and no one would clean it.
Workers would ask customers to pay them if they wanted them to clean anything, said customers.
Fawaz Jambi said: “I bought about 15 kg of fish from the market and paid SR20 to get the skin peeled. “I waited for a worker to peel my fish and many of them refused, hinting that I should pay them extra.”
Waleed Al-Jazani also said workers in the fish market would not do anything without a tip. They do not even use sanitary gloves when they are washing and peeling the fish, he said.
He claimed the workers told him that their employer was not giving them their salaries, forcing them to try and get more money out of the customers.
Jeddah Municipality spokesman Mohammad Al-Bugamy refuted the workers’ claims that they were not receiving their salaries.
He said: “If this was true, then they should submit a formal complaint regarding the matter to the Labor Office.
“Moreover, customers should report any workers refusing to do their work to the management of the market.
“All workers should adhere to health regulations.” The new fish market is designed according to modern international standards.
The market will be 37,000 square meters and the current facilities were replaced by newer ones that are easy to expand in the future.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 1, 2014.SHOW MORE