Fish prices hit the roof in City

Fish prices hit the roof in City

Bitter to swallow

Fond of fish and find it hard to miss the scrumptious meat of the aquatic animal?

Well, your weakness would burn a big hole in your pocket.

The prices of fish in the City have soared of late, keeping most of the popular varieties of fish out of the consumers’ reach. Vendors say the soaring prices are because of the fish breeding season, which started on April 15 and will last till May-end.

The aquatic animal lays eggs during the period every year, and there is a government ban on fishing. Thus, only a small quantity of the fish makes it to the market, causing a steep rise in prices.

Muneer Ahmad, a fish vendor at Russell Market, Shivajinagar, says the business has been sharply hit. Regular customers have stopped purchasing. The demand from hotels, too, is low. Surprisingly, prices of riverwater fish have not gone up. The business, however, is still low as consumers prefer sea fish.

Nonetheless, Ahmad hastens to add that prices would come down in June, and remain moderate for the next two months. The main season will start in August when the fish will be very cheap, and last till December. The prices will then soar a bit from January to March before reaching the peak as the breeding season kicks in in April.

Sea fish is transported into the City from such places as Chennai, Mangalore, Malabar region (Kerala), Mumbai, and Odisha. Riverwater fish comes from Mysore and other places. The soaring prices, however, do not seem to affect the vendors who are looking for the coming months.

“We will get more customers by mid-July,” a vendor in Russel Market says. The most expensive fish is Salmon which is being sold for Rs 800 per kilogram whereas Seer fish is priced at Rs 400. The huge rates have forced consumers to turn to cheaper varieties such as Mackerel (Bangda) and Sardines.

But most fish-eaters have given up the consumption altogether. “I have a big family and it is difficult to buy enough to feed all of them,” Fareed K , a frequent consumer of fish, says. Still, there are others like Anjum R S who seem unperturbed.

“I purchase Mackerel as it is only Rs 100 per kg. My family enjoys this fish and I don’t have to go for expensive varieties,” she said.

Price list

* Pomfret: Rs 600-800 per kg
* King fish (Surmai): Rs 550-600
* Lobster: Rs 1,200
* Prawns: Rs 250-900 (depending on size)
* Crab: Rs 180-250 (depending on size)
* Grouper (Gobra): Rs 200
* Mackerel (Bangda): 140
* Sardine: Rs 40

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