Two days after ban was lifted, fishermen and customers are despondent

If you are planning to cook fish for lunch, better wait until after Wednesday when prices are expected to come down as more stock arrives.

On Sunday, the second day after the lifting of the 45-day fishing ban on the East coast, fishermen said the catch had not been substantial. V. Desappan, a boat owner, said his boat which left on Thursday midnight and returned early on Sunday, was able to bring in just 159 kilos of tuna and 15 kilos of thirukkai fish.

“My boat is constructed specially for the yellow tuna and so, the men are planning to leave again on Monday morning with more diesel and food,” he said.

Since the catch was quite small, only about 30-40 boats returned and prices of fish that had gone up during the ban did not come down. Seer (vanjaram) was priced at Rs. 780-800 a kilo (landing price), pomfret black (karupu vavval) at Rs. 580 –600, sankara at Rs. 170–180, squid (kanava) at Rs. 160, ribbon fish (vaala meen) at Rs. 180, ottu kanava at Rs. 210–215 and mayil koala (a large-sized fish) at Rs. 80 per kg.

Customers, who had gathered in large numbers at the Kasimedu fishing harbour, mostly left empty-handed. “The fish are too costly and there is a mad rush for whatever is available. We had expected the prices to come down after the ban. Perhaps, we will wait for next Sunday,” said S. Premkumar, a resident of Tondiarpet.

“The prices of fish are expected to come down by 15-20 per cent by Wednesday when there will be more landings. Boats that went into the deep sea will be in only by then,” said a source in the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation.

More In: Society | Chennai