Mangaluru: September 9, 2015: As the state reels under a power crisis, frequent power cuts have sent fish prices nose-diving. In case the power situation fails to improve, the fishermen fear dark days ahead as they are unsure about where to procure the required ice from. Ice is required when they go for fishing and after landing to preserve the fish.
Old Mangalore Port businessman Jeevan Kumar told sources that despite fish catch being good this year, there has been a steep fall in fish prices. A fairly big seer fish that once cost about Rs 700-750 has dropped to Rs 200-250 this year. Similarly, before the fishing activity could commence this year, the price of mackerel - which cost about Rs 300 per kg - has dropped to Rs 40-50 per kg.
One for the reasons for the steep fall in prices is that since fish cannot be stored due to lack of ice, fishermen are forced to sell the catch at much lower prices.
"Besides, although this year there is an increase in the number of boats, there is no increase in the number of ice factories. So, the single boat owners are the worst hit," he said.
Sulochana who sells fish at a Mangaluru market said, the prices have dropped by nearly 50 per cent this year.
President of Mangalore Trawl Boat Owners Association Nithin Kumar said that August to October is the peak season for fishing, and generally, the catch increases in volumes. But due to frequent power cuts, ice formation is either delayed or fails to happen.
DEMAND TO STOP ’BULL TRAWLING’ by states
Kumar has demanded a uniform ban on ’bull trawling’ among the states. Bull trawling is when two trawlers join together for fishing. Due to this all kinds of fish are being caught, he said.