In Season Fish, an initiative by city based marine experts, aims at reducing the burden of overfishing in our oceans, by changing the menu – swapping the popular options for lesser-known species. Kingfish and Barracuda (Seela) should be consumed only during January, February, August, September and December. Mackerel (Aila/ Kanangeluthi) is seasonal during April, May and from September to December.
Marine geographer Divya Karnad found that traditional fishermen involved in sustainable practices based on breeding patterns, were left with no buyers for their catch, due to lack of awareness. “We created a website that gives scientific information on which fish to avoid during the breeding season,” said Karnad, whose team also includes wildlife biologist Chaitanya Krishna, creative head Anil Adireddi and filmmaker Sara.
Karnad started working with hotels and fish traders, creating a short supply chain, linking them with traditional fishermen, from whom they can source fish that is in season. In addition, the team has started to document recipes. “We started working with fisher women, home cooks and chefs to document their heirloom recipes,” said the co-founder. Palayam, a traditional fisherman from Urur Kuppam, said that these lesser-known species have been known for their health benefits.