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VIET SEAFOOD

Tuna Getting Scarce In India

As the lean season in the fishing industry sets in, fish-eaters in the city have begun feeling the pinch. Price of almost every fish variety available in the market is on the rise.

According to officials of the Matsyafed here, the supply of fish is on the decrease and the prices would increase in the days to come. “Most of the popular and cheap varieties of fish have started disappearing.”

“The price of seer fish has crossed Rs 450 a kilo. Even the common tuna is scarce now. Its price now is close to Rs 150/kg,” said P K Latha, a senior official with the Matsyafed here. Generally the lean fishing season starts in February and lasts till May. During this time, fishing activities along the costal lines of the district loses its momentum.

Most of the fishermen find it futile to venture into the sea during this time. “Fishing becomes unviable for mechanized boats as the chances of getting a good catch become very difficult. The sea is usually very calm and clear during this period. A good catch is possible only in murky waters,” says president of the Swathanthra Mathsya Thozhilali Federation, T Peter.

“The end of ‘Mandala’ season in connection with the Sabarimala pilgrimage also makes fish a dearer commodity as people who go vegetarian during this period return to their fish-eating habits,” says Peter. It is not the catch from Thiruvananthapuram coast line alone that fills the fish markets in and around the city. Fish caught from Neendakara in Kollam and nearby Tamil Nadu coastlines, including Tuticorin, account for a major chunk of the various fish varieties available in the Pangode fish market, the biggest one of its kind in the city.
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