Fish prices soar in Chennai due to supply shortfall

Bustling again: Consumers thronging the Kasimedu fish market early on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Fish prices more than doubled in many places in the city on Sunday. A kilogram of Sankara fish and vari paarai cost ₹400 each instead of ₹200. Oosi kanawa was priced ₹4,000 for 50 pieces in place of ₹1,500.

With not many boats returning on Sunday, fish arrivals were less, automatically pushing up prices. Consumers, who had come to buy fish after the fishing ban was lifted, said despite prohibitive rates they purchased what was available.

S. Chezhiyan, of Palavakkam, said he preferred to go to Neelankarai Kuppam to buy freshly-caught fish, which he hoped would be cheaper than those at the Palavakkam market.

At the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, retail sales were not allowed, and vendors could be seen buying baskets of fish from mechanised boats and traditional crafts, for which separate auction points were allocated.

“Not many boats returned today. In fact, not many ventured into the sea in the first place. With very high diesel prices, lack of labour and the lockdown continuing, around 30% boats remained on shore,” said M.E. Raghupathy, a boat owner.

S. Balaraman, an accountant with a private fishing company, said high diesel prices led to an increase in rates of fish nets too.

“Boats need to be stocked up and everything has become costlier. Owners have to spend at least ₹5 lakh just for diesel and ice per trip, and if they don’t break even, many prefer to remain on land,” he explained.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 11:11:24 AM |

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