Once the 61-day annual fishing ban came to a close on Saturday, fishermen of Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi in the southern region of Tamil Nadu, ventured into the sea and received a sizeable catch of fish and shrimps.
According to Regional Deputy Director of Fisheries, E Kathavarayan, Ramanathapuram, during the first season of three to four months, fishermen would adopt resource specific fishing method primarily netting ‘flower shrimp’ up to a distance of 20 nautical miles.
According to NJ Bose, president, Rameswaram Mechanized Boat Fishermen Association, the shrimps landed unprecedentedly at centres along Rameswaram and Mandapam coasts and at Thondi and Soliyakudi of Ramanathapuram North. Landing centres at beach settlements in Erwadi and Valinokam of Ramanathapuram South coast also witnessed a huge catch of shrimps.
In an average, each boat saw a minimum of about 300 kilos of shrimps to a maximum of 700 kilos, he said on Sunday. Earlier, normally after the fishing ban was removed, fishermen would net about 50 to 60 kilos of shrimps but this year the catch was huge, he said. Apart from the huge catch of shrimps, squid and crabs were also netted minimally, Bose added.
The huge catch of shrimps would increase the supply resulting in the exceeding demand and ultimately leading to the fall of prices, worried Bose. Also, this unprecedented market situation has prompted fishermen to suspend fishing for a day or two since shrimp exporters had time to process the seafood.
Despite large quantity, price of fish surge in Thoothukudi
Most of the fleet in Thoothukudi were back to shore at the fishing harbor with a good catch of edible fish variety such as vila, ooli and para. A total of 212 mechanized boats ventured into sea and the majority of the fleet netted fishes worth between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh at the maximum, said RJ Bosco, a boat owner.
Though large quantities of fish have been caught, the prices of fish seem to be on rise in Thoothukudi. Thoothukudi has become the most sought after place for seafood traders of Kerala, where annual fishing ban remains in effect. Normally, when a box of assorted fish fetched a revenue of Rs 2,000 at auction prior to ban period, its price had shot up to Rs 3,500 now.