Giving much agony to the fish-obsessed Keralites, fish prices are refusing to come down even after the lifting of the trawling ban, owing to bad weather and rough sea. With Eid-ul-Fitr around the corner, the situation has worsened for the buyers. According to fish sellers, the demand for fish is at its peak this time of the year.
The price of fish that soared after the start of the trawling ban is still high, making fish a luxury food item for the common people. Even the price of mackerel has refused to come down from a whopping Rs 100 for two fish.
The popular varieties have either disappeared from the market or enjoy a pegged up price. The price of seer fish, that topped the charts for the past few weeks, remains unbeatable at Rs 850 per kilogram. Prawns have hit the Rs 800-mark and tuna remains at Rs 450 per kilogram. A good number of favourites tike tilapia and pomfret are nowhere to be seen in most of the small markets.
Most common varieties of fish like anchovy, sardine etc are becoming a rare privilege in the fish seller’s basket even days after the lifting of the trawling ban. The drop in availability has led the state to depend on its neighbours. Markets are witnessing fishes like steak emperor and barracuda, brought from Thoothukudi fishing harbour in Tamil Nadu.
“Very high prices are being demanded at our harbours like Vizhinjam or Neendakara. But, fish is available at cheap rates in Thoothukudi harbour. It is more profitable for us to bring fish from there, even if the transportation cost is high,” said a fish seller in the city.
Meanwhile, fishermen are hopeful about the shoal of fish they get after the present weather conditions - the heavy rain and storm. The weather is expected to get better after the ‘no moon day’, which falls on Tuesday. The price is also expected to come down once the buying spree associated with Ramzan gets over.