Poor turnout, ‘distancing’ affecting sale: Fishermen
Fishermen complain that they are unable to sell the usual quantity of fish even after the lifting of annual ban on June 1. They claimed that there are still struggling as there are not enough customers to buy the catch.
According to the fishermen, earlier, during weekends the Kasimedu market would receive at least over 1,000 customers, but on Sunday less than 300 customers came over to purchase seafood. “We are using only country and fiber boats for catching fish because if we use other boats we would get more fishes and it would be difficult to sell them. After the fishing ban, we usually catch at least 150 tonnes of fish, but now we catch only 6 tonnes, as we could not sell the catch,” said Prabhakaran P, a fisherman at Kasimedu fish market.
“On Sundays, the prices will increase, but this the first time we are selling at lower prices after the fishing ban,” he added.
On Sunday, red snapper (sankara) sold for Rs 300 – Rs 350 per kg, seer fish (vanjiram) Rs 750 – Rs 800 per kg, crab Rs 250 – Rs 300, shrimp Rs 300 – Rs 340, saw fish (kola) Rs 150 – Rs 170 per kg.
Besides, there were more police compared to the customers, in order to maintain social distancing in the market and they sent only 10 customers at a time as a result of which so many customers went without buying anything, the fishermen alleged.
“We were forced to sell fishes without bargaining to the customers; otherwise we should dump the remaining seafood we caught in the sea. We expected that the collection would over Rs 15,000 but we are able to achieve only Rs 6,000 to 7,000. Though the government have reduced the fishing ban period, there is no profit for the fishermen,” said Nanjal P Ravi, spokesperson, National Union of Fisherman Association.