The ever-busy Kasimedu fishing harbour wore a deserted look on Sunday morning with mechanized boats seen moored along the coast. The ban is expected to push up the price of fish and value-added seafood items. Members of the fishing community said the price of fish was already very high and the ban, at this point of time, would affect their business badly. There would not be customer patronage if the costs stayed prohibitive for long, they said.
Traders and other stakeholders had started importing fish and seafood from other states like Gujarat and Kerala to meet the demand. “Since the availability in the city has drastically come down, we are left with no option, but to increase the price,” a fish vendor said.
K Bharathi, president of the South Indian Fishermen Association, said, “Ever since the Ennore oil spill and the recent adverse weather conditions, fishing activity in the Kasimedu fishing harbour has been very sluggish.”
He added that the main fishing harbour, which used to receive around 170 tonnes of catch per day, was getting only 60 to 70 tonnes in recent days. The catch coming down by less than half the usual rate was a cause of concern, he said.Meanwhile, traders were also looking at states like Karnataka, Mumbai, and Andaman to meet the demand in the city. AGS Anbu, secretary of the Chintadripet Fish and Perishable Traders Association, said, “the wholesale rate of Seer fish was sold Rs 800 per kg. While shark was sold at Rs 350, Pomfret was sold at Rs 600 and the price of Pink perch was Rs 250. Prices are expected to rise further,” he added.