Magaluru, June 10, 2015: While chicken prices are riding high on the heat wave, the two-month fishing ban has resulted in fewer baskets of fish arriving at local markets and hike in fish prices.
In fact, premium variety of fish has completely disappeared from the market. The all-time favourite seer fish and white pomfret were not seen in the shelves for the past one week.
Black pomfret too was not available for the past two days, and on those rare occasions when a certain outlet flaunts these varieties, the rates are exorbitant. Moreover, these catches are from Kerala and are,therefore, not fresh.
At the Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation outlet, seer and pomfret have not been available for a week. Mackerels have got pricier and are retailing at Rs 290 per kg - another historic high for this pelagic fish. Sardines cost a little higher but at an affordable price of Rs 120 per kg. The available fish varieties - silver fish (Rs 230 per kg) and squids (Rs 240 a kg) - aren’t too fresh, as they come from neighbouring states or Chennai.
But for the common man, the cost of fish curry rice at restaurants has not increased due to the hoteliers dishing out a small piece of cheapest fish available in the market. But the price of fish meal, which is typically Rs 30 to Rs 40, with a fish fry has seen an increase by two- or three-fold.
The price of a seer fillet at the popular Narayana Hotel in Bunder has reached an astonishing Rs 200, and so has the price of mackerel which costs Rs 110 a piece. Sardines are more affordable at Rs 15 a piece. At another popular joint Giri Manja, seer fillet costs Rs 190 and mackerel costs Rs 120. Pomfret has disappeared from the menu as the retail cost is a shocking Rs 1,200 per kg.
Hoteliers say that when mackerel costs Rs 250 to Rs 350 per kg in wholesale and the count is just three to four, it is impossible to give fried fish for less . However, prawns seem affordable as the cultured prawns retail at Rs 430 per kg. They are available at Rs 350 when fresh marine catch arrives in the market.