Chandra Pandian’s family used to have fried fish every week. “My daughter likes fish cooked that way. But since the price of fish has gone up, we have been forced to reduce our consumption,” said Chandra, a resident of Anna Nagar.
On Sunday, 250 grams of vanjram sold at Rs. 250, while one kg of vavval was priced at Rs. 1,100. For Chandra, these rates are unaffordable. Vanjram and vavval are the two most popular fish among residents of the city.
Over the last two weeks, a decline in the catch at Kasimedu and an increase in the quantity of fish sent to Kerala as the 45-day trawling ban is on there, have led to prices of fish soaring.
Fish prices at Kasimedu are fixed by elakaarars, the auctioneers, according to the demand from consumers for each type. As in all auctions, the highest bidder gets the fish, which means the fishermen get more money for their catch.
However, fishermen said that since the catch is not sufficient, most boats are fishing at a loss.
“Instead of fishing for 7-8 hours near the coast, we are forced to go deeper into the sea and have to remain there for at least a day for better catch. We have to fish now as it is the season for all kinds of fish,” said D. Thulukanam, a fisherman from Kasimedu.
Anburose, a fish trader, said that other types of fish including mayil kola and eman kola, which come in various sizes from 5 kg to 150 kg per fish, are also being caught this season.
“This fish is sliced and sent to Kerala on ice or is salted and then sent. The meat is tough and people in Tamil Nadu do not like this type,” he said.