Mangaluru, May 17, 2015: ‘Mastyaotsava’, the much awaited fish carnival at Pilikula Nisargadhama, drew tremendous response from angling enthusiasts and seafood lovers today. The half-day carnival was organized jointly by Dr Shivaram Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama, Karnataka Fisheries Development Cooperation (KFDC) and College of Fisheries.
The event saw display of both traditional and modern angling with many of the lucky anglers hooking delicious fish like Katla and Rohu from Pilikula lake. The lake is abundant in many varieties of fish. So far, once every year the authorities used to hire professional fishermen to catch the fish which would be auctioned on the spot. Responding to the growing popularity of this event, the authorities decided to host a full-fledged carnival this year.
In addition to catching fish from the lake, other popular varieties of fish like seer fish, butter fish, pomfret, tiger prawns and lobster were offered for sale at a special stall put up by the KFDC.
Yet another stall put up by self-help group members offered hot dishes like fish fry, fish masala and fish kebabs which were prepared on the spot.
Auctioning of the fresh catch from the lake found enthusiastic buyers vying over each other. A 7.5 kg rohu fish reportedly fetched a top price of Rs 1,000. Fresh water crabs and prawns were seen being auctioned.
The deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim who was seen personally handling the fresh catch with great amusement on his face, informed the media that the park administration had plans to open an Anglers’ Club to promote the hobby among enthusiasts. The club members will be trained through workshops and routine activities, he said. “This carnival aims at bringing back crowd from technology to nature," he added.
Fish varieties like Katla, Rohu, Mahseer and Common Carp are abundant in the lake. The fish colony in the lake is replenished from time to time by releasing fresh seedlings which then grow in the ideal lake habitat.
However, despite the optimistic statement of the DC, some experienced anglers who participated in the carnival were frustrated with the facilities provided at the event and were complaining that it was an ill organized show. They were particularly annoyed with the presence of gill nets in the lake which, they say, scares away the fish. They also complained about damage to their expensive equipment due to the concentration of too many anglers in one spot.
Chairman of Shree Devi Education Trust Sadananda Shetty, Director Pilikula Biological Park Jaya Prakash Bhandary, executive director S A Prabhakara Sharma, ZP CEO Sreevidhya, MLC Ivan D’Souza, fisheries joint director V K Shetty and Yathish Baikampady of Panambur Beach Development Project were among those present.