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Updated: February 14, 2013 09:30 IST

Rising fish prices in Vizag leave a bitter taste

Santosh Patnaik
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A traditional fisherman collecting anchovies called 'netalu' in local parlance at the busy RK beach in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu A traditional fisherman collecting anchovies called 'netalu' in local parlance at the busy RK beach in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

The rise is attributed to falling catch in the sea and the Godavari due to pollution

Steep increase in the prices of various types of fish in the city has left a bitter taste among those who prefer it for its taste, Omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy ingredients.

Whether it is MVP Colony, Seethammadhara, Chinawaltair, Asilametta or Thatichetlapalem fish bazaar, the prices have gone up abnormally in the past few weeks. The rise is attributed to falling catch in the sea and the Godavari due to pollution, excessive exploitation, dumping of plastic material and increase in the operation cost of fishing boats. “The rising price is giving us a bitter feeling but you know, we do consume it regularly because it is a yummy delicacy,” admits Suparna Dutta, a home-maker.

The price of popular fish varieties, on an average, has gone up by 25 to 100 per cent. Following is the list of latest price of various fish (old rate a month ago in bracket per kg): Vanjaram and konam (small and big seer) (Rs.300 and Rs. 400) Rs. 400 and Rs. 600 respectively, catla (Rs. 80) Rs. 120, rohu (Rs. 90) Rs. 120, anchovies (netalu) (Rs. 100) Rs. 200, white pomfret (Rs. 400) Rs.700, pink prawn (Rs. 200) Rs.350 and small prawn (Rs. 200) Rs.350.

“Falling catch due to a combination of factors like pollution and hefty increase in diesel price is making fishing unviable,” points out Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, president of the Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association.

Market watchers say rise is due to demand supply position. During Kartikamasam when non-vegetarians turn pure vegetarians, the cost of fish nosedives. “Now for people like us who are fond of konam and vanjaram it has turned very expensive. Hence, for budget-conscious people instead of abstaining from relishing fish delicacies, we have to reduce the quantum of consumption,” says Prasad Bose, an airlines employee.

Though the price dampens the spirit of those loving to eat fish, the consumption continues unhindered. “Our sales are continuing as usual. There is no need for us to keep our stocks in ice for more than a day,” said Narsamma, a fisherwoman who ekes out a living by putting up a stall at MVP Market.

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