Fish prices in state refuse to come down

Fish prices in the state have refused to come down even after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

A fish wholesaler in the municipal market, Ms Christalin Fernandes, while shedding light on the present situation, stated that weather is not favourable for fish catch. The sea is rough and even the fish supply which used to be there from Kerala has stopped and this is having a direct impact on fish markets.

Trawler owners, traditional fishermen and mechanised boat owners are scared to venture into the deep sea due to the heavy breeze and unfavourable conditions and very few people whoever venturing out get very less fish, she added.

She informed that the fish catch is insufficient to make up for the expenditure on diesel, kerosene, labour, repair, wear and tear and many others. If a trawler remains at high seas for 10 – 15 days at a stretch, it involves a lot of expenses which cannot be recovered with one time catch, so many skip from venturing into the sea.

"We buy a basketful of mackerels and sell it for ` 3,000 keeping a profit of only ` 150. You tell me, at what price to sell the fish when transportation, labour charges and sopo and other expenses are involved? What should be our commission?’’ she questioned.

"We get mackerels for ` 20 each and we sell them for ` 25 each, in similar manner, prawns we get for ` 240-230 a kg depending upon the size and we sell it for ` 250- 260 a kg," she added.

Like-wise king fish we buy from Vasco dealers for ` 320 and we sell for ` 350 and buy morso for ` 180 a kg and sell for ` 200 a kg, she informed.

Today a portion of sardines was being sold at ` 50 and a plate of milk fish for ` 100 while 7-8 iron fish were available for ` 150. Medium-sized 2 white pomfrets were being sold for ` 150 – ` 200 while a plateful of
small pomfrets was being sold
at ` 200

Tiger prawns were available at ` 260 – 300 depending upon the size while white prawns from farm were available for ` 300 and 280 depending upon the size.

Mackerels — big sized 4-5 were being sold for ` 100 while medium sized 8 mackerels were available at ` 100 and still smaller were being sold at  50 for 10. [NT]