CHENNAI: More than 3,000 people thronged at Kasimedu fish market on Maatu Pongal on Monday. As fewer trawlers ventured into the sea due to the warning issued by the weather department recently, the market witnessed a shortage in supply, which led to an increase in prices. Traders said that the market witnessed such a huge crowd during the festival day after two years.
“Due to the pandemic-induced lockdown in the last two years, there was dull sales during the festival season especially Pongal and Deepavali. After restrictions were lifted, people flocked to the market. However, only less than 30 per cent of trawlers ventured into the sea due to the warning issued by the meteorological department, which led to supply shortage,” said K Rajan, a fisherman and trader at Kasimedu market.
As there was an increase in demand for seafood items, the prices increased by 20 per cent on Monday. At present, seer fish (vanjiram) sold for Rs 800 per kg, red snapper crab for Rs 450 per kg, black pomfret Rs 600 per kg, prawns Rs 400 per kg, trevally Rs 450 per kg, anchovy (nethili) Rs 250 per kg.
Traders stated that all the fishermen at the Kasimedu fishing harbor are expected to venture from next week. So, the market is likely to receive an adequate supply of seafood, which would decrease the prices of fish drastically.
On the other hand, the retail fish shops in the city also witnessed customers gathering in huge numbers. However, the prices remained the same as the wholesale rate. R Kamaraj, a retailer at Chintadripet said, “The big fishes were sold by 10 am and those who came late could not buy what they wanted, so returned home by purchasing whatever was available in the market. Since the prices did not surge in retail shops, there was no wastage.”