Chennai, Jun 21 (IANS): Even after the 61-day fishing ban in Tamil Nadu ended on June 14, fish prices remain high in Chennai and fishermen cite dwindling catch and non-availability of fish as the main reasons.
Sources in the fishing industry told IANS that it may take more than ten days for the prices to return to normal.
Arul Das, a fisherman from Chennai, told IANS, "The catch is very less this time. Even after 50 boats went to the sea, we are not able to get a decent catch. There is a dwindling catch of fish and we have to study in detail as to why there is a reduction in catch."
However, thousands of people thronged markets of Kasimedu, Chindarapet, and Vanagram to buy their favourite fish.
Indian Fishermen Association president Dayalan told IANS, "In the past few days, only 50 boats have arrived. There are 2000 trawler and Gillnet boats in Chennai area alone. We are expecting 150-200 boats going to sea for fishing which will lead to the reduction in prices."
Many fishermen who went for fishing on the Andhra coast said that they got only a small catch and this may be due to the dwindling presence of fish in the sea at around 10 nautical miles from the Chennai coast towards Andhra.
Fish sellers at Kasimedu market told IANS that the prices in the market is more than Rs 200 to Rs 250 than the wholesale market.
Syed Mushtak Ali, a businessman at Ashok Nagar in Chennai told IANS, "For those who relish fish and non-vegetarian items, pockets are burning. We were expecting the price of fish to fall after the fishing ban concluded on June 14. I don't know why the prices are high even after fishermen have started going to seas in mechanised boats. My information from the Kasimedu market is that the prices will come down only after ten to 15 days as most of the fishing boats have not commenced voyage. Several fishermen also complained that there is dwindling catch."