Fish Scarcity in Kerala

Published on: 23 Apr, 2013
Published under: Featured, Kerala Business News

23 April 2013

Kerala spiralling demand have combined to force the State to turn to neighbouring States for its fish supplies even as market sources said that consumers in Kochi were spared a possible fish scarcity during Easter and Vishu holidays with substantial imports of a variety akin to milk fish/white mullet (vila meen) from the Gulf.

Charles George of the Trade Union Coordination Committee, representing the interests of coastal residents and fishermen communities, said there was no way to monitor the quantities of fish arriving in markets like Kochi from neighbouring States or even from countries with which India has a free trade agreement.Kerala, as a whole, is facing an acute shortage of oil sardines this season as schools of fish are moving up to avoid warmer waters in the south. They are also moving further away from the shores, said Mr. George, who pointed out that Mumbai and some of the other centres in Maharashtra were seeing an abundance of oil sardine catch this season.

Tuna, weighing between 15 and 20 kg, has come in large quantities while high-end varieties like seer fish and pomfrets are virtually out of the scene, he said. Cuttle fish and squids are the other favourites the supplies of which have dried up this season.The retail market turning unstable with the price spiral is a common experience. Seer fish cost between Rs.350 and Rs.450 a kg on an average while pearspot costs between Rs. 300 and Rs. 350 a kg. Medium-sized prawns come at over Rs. 250 per kg and the common oil sardines sell between Rs. 60 and Rs. 70 a kg on days. A 300 gm mackerel will cost around Rs.35 in the retail market.

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