Fish shortage hits coastal towns, prices soar


Team Udayavani, Dec 3, 2023, 9:25 AM IST

Malpe: The coastal towns are facing a dire situation in its fishing sector as a sudden increase in humidity and extreme weather conditions have led to a fish shortage.

The repercussions include a significant decrease in fish supply, causing a distressing scenario for both fishermen and consumers alike.

Popular varieties such as Mackerel and Sardine are also affected, but the shortage is most prominent in King fish and pomfret fish. Consequently, the prices of these fishes have doubled in the market, creating hardships for consumers.

Dayakara V, the president of the Malpe Kanni Fishermen’s Association, expressed concern, noting that the current prices are exceptionally high compared to the past few years.

Pomfret , in particular, has become prohibitively expensive. The price of Mackerel, has surged from Rs. 150-180 per kg to Rs. 250, compared to the last pricing. Medium-sized Mackerel, which was previously priced at Rs. 200, is now scarcely available. The scarcity extends to King fish, with prices ranging from Rs. 800 to 1,000 per kg, while smaller King fish is priced at Rs. 600 to 650 per kg.

Fishermen attribute the scarcity to the dependence of fish on good air and water conditions, leading them to migrate in unfavorable conditions.
The intense sun along the coast is causing fishes to dry out in cooler areas, further contributing to the shortage. Krishna S, a fisherman, lamented the difficulty in procuring fish, emphasizing the adverse impact of the weather conditions.

The scarcity has led to boats running aground due to the fish drought, with the situation reaching a point where, regardless of the amount offered, quality fish species are scarcely available. This has left many fish-selling women idle, unable to procure fish for sale, as highlighted by Baby H. Salyan, President of the Women Raw Fish Sellers Association in Malpe.

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