Mangaluru, June 3, 2016: Sardines, a staple food for Mangalureans’ regularly, are now a further attraction with Modi’s name tagged on.For several reasons, the sardines imported from Oman are called Modi Bhutai (in Tulu) or Modi sardines only because the fish consignment first lands on the Gujarat coast. They were imported into India in a big way in the year Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister, and hence the prefix.
"Thanks to the dwindling fish catch, sardines - called the common man’s fish - are imported from Oman to meet the local demand," says a merchant who has been doing this business for 35 years.
When the demand ebbed a few years ago, Omani sardines were imported to India. The demand picked up again, the import mode extended to the sea route. The consignment is first shipped to Gujarat ports -a closer and traditional destination to Oman.