Wow, Acha Din Aa Gaya Hai ?? Apart from Rising Fuel Prices/Commodities, Even Fish Prices Soar
Mangaluru: The increase in the price of fuel, especially diesel, has sent fish prices soaring, but has not impacted vegetable prices much, a little bit pricey than a month ago.The arrival of fish at the Bunder dock has come down, leading to a hike in prices. Balaraman, a vendor at the harbour, said many boats have remained moored at the harbour as have a majority of the trawlers. The price of fish is more than in March , he said. Another vendor, Masood said the formation of a low pressure along the coast was another reason for many boats not putting out to sea over the past one week and leading to a hike in prices. The catch will further dwindle when the annual fishing ban comes into place within a few days, he added.
Once the fishing ban starts after a month, fish lovers will have to shell out more money to buy their favourite fish. The main objective of banning deep sea fishing is to protect fish wealth as commercially important species breed during this period. It is to prevent juvenile fishing and also excessive fishing. While the fishing ban is in force, all kinds of trawlers and conventional boats retrofitted with engines with more than 10 HP capacity are prohibited from venturing into the sea and carrying on fishing activities.
Presently with the fish catch dropping due to an increase in temperature at sea, coupled by a rise in diesel price, the supply of fresh fish landing at the Old Port-Bunder had reduced drastically, leading to 20% to 30% rise in prices of commonly available fish as well as premium fish. The drop in catch and diesel price hike has been a deterrent for boats venturing into the sea, even though the monsoon fishing ban is just a month away. If on an average, 50 boats used to land at the Old Port during this season last year, the count is barely 10-15, since the last fortnight. Adding to this, with only a few varieties of fish being available in the market, and the availability of premium fish in the market coming down, the prices are seeing a steep increase, it is learnt.
As per Karnataka Fish Development Corporation (KFDC) only disco fish (big eye snapper), brown prawns and mackerel are landing in sufficient quantities, whereas the quantity of premium fish like seer and white pomfret are just two boat loads, as against 10-15 during this season last year. Black pomfret have become very rare, with their catch landing in the market only twice or thrice a week, again leading to an increase in price. Sources also reveal that there’s no silver fish (anchovy), koddai (coaker) and ade (false trevally), nang (large tooth flounder) available, and at present, whatever popular fish varieties that arrive at the Bunder dock are from Chennai.
Fresh fish rates (per kg) as per Source from KFDC : Sardine: Rs 200-250; Mackerel: Rs 200-250; Seer: Rs 1,000 plus; Adavu: Rs 290; Crab: Rs 320-400; Sole: Rs 350-400; Squid: Rs 380-400; White pomfret: Rs 1,150 plus; Ladyfish: Rs 900-1000; Prawns: Rs 400-500; Karimeen: Rs 540-600. My Persian Cat “COCO’ which is fond of Sardines only, I have no other option than to buy it whatever the cost is, which as of now is Rs 250 a kg. Month ago I was paying between Rs 150-180 a kg, a perfect example of PM’s Acha Din Aa Gaya slogan, not really though?
‘COCO’ anxiously waits to have his Meal of freshly boiled Sardines!
Even sardines aka Buthai (tulu) aka Tarle (Konkani) are also becoming rare, and if at all they are available their price almost matches with mackerel, which retails around Rs 200-250/kg. The sardines that are available are those which were kept in cold storage days ago.The price of seer fish and white pomfret is about Rs 900 to Rs 1,000/kg at the landing centres itself. It is learnt that Kaane (lady fish) , though available, is also on the pricier side, at Rs 900/kg. As per a boat owner “Only if there’s news of good catch, it’ll spur some more boats to venture into the sea. The owners spend nearly Rs 1 lakh per trip, and without a good catch it’s not worth it,’’.
Perhaps, this is for the first time in many years, the catch of fish has become so less, even though fish migrate for breeding during the pre-monsoon month, said the source, adding that this will continue till fishermen locate good schools of fish. Most fishermen have said that they are abstaining from fishing, as the catch is less, and with the escalated fuel price, it is wiser not to go fishing, as they are not assured of breaking even.