KOCHI: Marine fishermen who restarted fishing after the end of the trawling ban are having a promising catch, netting a large quantity of Karikadi (marine shrimp).
Around 30 per cent of boats that sailed on August 1 returned with Karikadi, which is expected to fetch a good price in the market.
According to All-Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association general secretary Joseph Xavier Kalappurackal, the majority of the fishing vessels caught Karikadi and Kilimeen ( thread fin bream).
However, there are concerns that middlemen are trying to bring down the price of Karikadi, most of which is exported to Europe and America.
“On Saturday, Karikadi was priced around Rs 170 per kg at auctions held in Kochi. On Monday, the price came down to Rs 100 per kg. Normally, the price of Karikadi is around Rs 270 per kg. Karikadi can be netted at the depth of around 70 metres, while Kilimeen is available at the depth of 100 metres,” Joseph Xavier added.
The fishermen at the Kochi fisheries harbour said that it was too early to predict the season. Currently, the fishermen are having a good catch, compared to last year.
“Last year, only a few fishing boats got Karikadi, but this year most of the boats have returned with plenty of Karikadi. It was a promising start. But, we can predict the season only when Kanava (squid) is netted.
If we can catch Kanava in large quantities the season would be very good for us. Kanava can be netted only at the depth of 120-150 metres. The boats that are scheduled to return on Saturday may get Kanava,” said Thomas Kuriakose, a fishermen who returned from sea on Monday.
“Karikadi mostly migrates North, to Karnataka and Goa, by this time of the year. But, due to the late monsoon, Karikadi is still available off the Kerala coast,” said Joseph Xavier.
“Karikadi breeds in the Kerala coast during the monsoon and the trawling ban period. By the last week of July, they migrate to the North. But, due to the late monsoon this year, the breeding of Karikadi might have got delayed,” he added.