SEOUL, June 7 (Korea Bizwire) – Amid concerns over worsening airborne fine dust in Korea, the Ministry of Environment released a statement on May 23 that grilling mackerel indoors creates 30 times the fine dust compared to a ‘poor’ fine dust day. Mackerel is one of the most consumed fish in Korea.
Following the statement, however, mackerel prices have noticeably declined.
According to aT (The Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation), the consumer price for a medium-quality mackerel used to be 3,451 won, but had declined to 2,949 won by June 2. The 2015 price (June 15) of a medium-quality mackerel was 3,696, indicating a 20 percent drop this year.
Even considering the natural price decline of mackerel when catches surge after their season opens (usually after the end of May), industry representatives explained that this year is quite different, and claimed that there is an undeniable relationship between the ministry’s recent statement and withering consumer sentiment towards mackerel.
“We’ve even had a day in which the mackerel price almost halved,” said an official from the Busan Cooperative Fish Market. “Even if there is an increase in supply, such an abrupt plummet is quite concerning.”
“Although we need to wait and see if the latest decline is a direct result of the official statement, there’s no question that the continued exploitation of the issue in news media and on the Internet will affect the market,” said another official from a fisheries cooperative union.
Faced with rising complaints from the fisheries industry, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said June 3 in a press release, “the recent government statement was to emphasize the importance of ventilation while grilling mackerel, and we will keep our eyes on mackerel prices and changing consumer trends.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)