KOCHI: The weak monsoon has apparently taken a toll on the fish landings in the coastal Kerala pushing the fish prices sky high. With the trawling ban on and the traditional canoes returning empty from the sea, fish is going to be a luxury on Aam Aadmi’s platter.
The trawlers which returned to the harbours on Sunday night just before the ban came into force, had nothing much on board. “The sea has stopped yielding for more than a month now,” said Charles George, the district convener of the Fisheries Coordination Committee. “Unless the monsoon gathers momentum, things will be pretty difficult.”The high demand and less supply had spiked the fish prices much before the trawl ban, said Binu Kuriakose, assistant manager of Matsyafed. “It would take three or four days into the trawling ban to know exactly complete the impact of the fishing holiday on the domestic market, but the indications are grim. Usually, the traditional fishing sector used to compensate since the pelagic stock came near the shores during the monsoon. This time, a weak monsoon has cast a dry spell on traditional fishing too,” the official explained.
The landings of sardines, mackerels and shrimps have recorded a sharp fall and the prices have gone up. Even the humble sardine has breaches `100 mark. Retail rates of big mackerel shot up from `180 to touch `250. Pricey fish varieties like seer fish (Neimeen) and travelly (Vatta) soared to `700 and `330 respectively, according to Matsyafed officials. Seer fish and travelly recorded price raise between `60 to `70. The price of shrimp and pearl spot remained unaffected, thanks to steady supply from Andhra Pradesh and the domestic farms.
Meanwhile, demand for these farm grown varieties is likely to go up due to drop in numbers of their of wild cousins. This in turn will reflect on their prices too.
“The domestic demand has gone up very high recently, surpassing exports,” said Binu Kuriakose. In fact, the export segment is a bit dull and we rely on the strong domestic market. The local supply of shrimps are negligible and the domestic as well as export markets depend on the Vannamie farms of Andhra Pradesh, he explained.
Swimming Out of Reach
Weak monsoon has taken a toll on the fish landings in the coastal Kerala
The trawlers returned to the harbours on Sunday night with nothing much on board
The traditional fishing sector used to compensate since the pelagic stock came near the shores during the mons on
The landings of sardines, mackerels and shrimps have recorded a sharp fall
The price of shrimp and pearl spot remained unaffected, thanks to steady supply from Andhra Pradesh and the domestic farms