Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (MS)
Mangaluru, Oct 1: Navaratri festival is underway in the district. Many Hindus do not eat fish during this time. Meanwhile, fish is arriving in large quantities and the prices of king fish and mackerels have slumped to rock bottom. While the pescatarians are delighted, boat owners are suffering losses.
King fish weighing two to three kilos was sold for Rs 1000 a month ago. Now the same is sold for just Rs 350. Mackerels are sold at Rs 80 per kilo. Medium mackerels are not in demand and are sold to fish meal at Rs 20 per kg.
Medium sized white Pomfret is sold for Rs 500 to 600 per kg. Large size black Pomfret for Rs 400. Silver fish is sold at Rs 100 per kg while Sardine is cheapest at Rs 50 per kg.
Nitin Kumar, leaders of fishermen, said, “Around 25 to 30 tonnes of King Fish, Mackerels, Silver Fish and prawns that go to fish meal industry have arrived in the fish port. During Navaratri, Hindus do not eat fish. Usually, fresh mackerels are stored for future use. But this year, they are not taken for freezing. Exports are also less. The rate has fallen to rock bottom. Only squid and frog squid are being exported.”
The fishing boats get fish in huge quantities in the months of August, September and October when the sea is cool. If the rate slump at this time, it causes huge losses to the fishing boat owners. After November as the temperature rises, fishes go into deep sea and the catch will be not huge.
Fish merchant Mohan Bengre said, “Deep sea and trawl boat fishing is going on well. Due to Pottas festival in Tamil Nadu and Navaratri in Karnataka, demand for fish has dropped. I am selling one kg Mackerel for just Rs 25. This is loss for me.”