Mangaluru, Oct 05, 2019: Fishing boats are returning with bountiful catch to district ports in DK and Udupi after days at sea, but their catch causes sad faces. For 95% of the catch are ‘Kargil fish’ (Redtoothed Triggerfish)., it is unfit for human consumption and sale returns are poor. The boats that had left fishing ports for deep-sea fishing have returned with a huge quantity of Kargil fish, which are not for human consumption and have no commercial value.
“Fish meal industries purchase Kargil fish for Rs 12 per kg. If it is cut and sold, then fishermen get Rs 16 per kg,” former president of Malpe Fishermen Association Sathish Kunder told medai.
He said some boats on an average are bringing 10 tonnes of Kargil fish daily. The Kargil fish are supplied to fish meal industries in Udupi, Mangaluru, Goa and Maharashtra. Each tonne fetches only Rs 11,000, which is not commercially viable for the fishermen, Kunder said.
The expense for each deep sea fishing voyage is near to 4 lakhs it was explained.
Fishermen’s catch during August to November included Pomfret, Seer fish, Mackerel, Bondas, Ribbon Bondas which are money spinners due to its high export value, Kunder said. “When price for these fish increase, we get good income. The income that we earn during this period helps us to tide over the lean fishing period from December to February,” he said.
“The availability of fish reduces from December on wards. Thus we are forced to go for fishing to far off places in Maharashtra, where the expenditure exceeds profits. Thus, we manage the entire fishing season with the earnings from bounty fish catches during August to September,” Kunder added. Unfortunately, a majority of catch was only ‘Kargil fish’ during this period.
With Kargil fish being caught in huge numbers, other fishes of high commercial value had suddenly become scarce.
“Fish migrate during cyclone. As a result, we are finding Kargil fish in huge numbers during the season. At present, we are getting only 5% of other species of fish,” a fisherman revealed. Kargil fish, which stinks, is flooding the dockyard. Fishing ports reeks of a nauseating smell,” complained people.
Kargil fish : Kunder said, ‘’Fishermen named the Redtoothed Triggerfish, small (2 to 3 inch) black roundish, after the Kargil war as the fishermen had caught this stinking fish for the first time during the Kargil war.’’