VIJAYAWADA: A fisherman from Uppada in U Kothapalli of East Godavari struck it rich when he caught a rare species of sea snail which was purchased by traders for Rs 18,000.
G Jaganaddham caught the snail when he went fishing into the waters at the sea coast near Uppada, some 11 km from the district headquarters of Kakinada, three days ago. As news spread about the rare catch, locals and traders flocked to the Aminabad mini harbour to have a look at the snail.
Soon, traders vied to buy the snail and an open auction was held in which it was sold for Rs 18,000.
Bade Daveedu, a trader, who purchased the snail along with three of his friends -- M Jagadish, A Srinu and A Nagaraju -- said, "The snail is rare and known as 'Melo Melo' in English and locally called 'Gulla Rayi'." People believe that the pearl inside it has good value, Daveedu said and added they would offer special prayers and open it wishing that they get a pearl.
It was, however, not known whether the traders got a pearl or not.
The rare snail is said to be a typical tropical species but sometimes found in other places too. Fishermen said that during the 45-day annual fish hunting season that ended recently, they have been getting a good catch of rare species including two 'Katchili' fish which were sold for Rs 2.40 lakh each in an auction.