Local Goa News

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fish prices rise due to scarcity

Panaji: The seasonal fishing ban in Goa is soon to commence, but even weeks prior to the government-imposed abstinence, the state is facing a fish scarcity that has resulted in fish prices rising by 10 to 15% and in some cases up to 20%.
Those involved in the trade blame weather conditions that are restricting them from venturing into the seas, the blatant exploitation of the waters due to LED fishing, bull trawling and night-fishing, and pollution in the seas.
"There's not enough fish in the market and the little that is there is beyond the daily budget of the average Goan consumer," lamented a resident of Divar, Sabina Menezes.
"The weather conditions create an unstable atmosphere preventing us from taking our boats out fishing," said a fisherman from Nerul, Ozer Mendes.
"Owing to strong winds and rough seas we are refraining from going into the sea two weeks before the fishing ban can commence."
"Fish are caught based on visibility," said another traditional fisherman, "Pollution in the seas has increased due to dirt and debris released into the water bodies by hotels and casinos, making visibility difficult. This has ostensibly added to the rise in water temperature, too. Fish are swimming further into cooler parts of the sea and away from us."
Fisher folk also blamed non-availability of fish along the coastline to over-exploitation of the waters with techniques like LED fishing and bull trawling, over which the department of fisheries has now imposed a ban.
"All possible gears were being used to fish out sea creatures," said joint-secretary Goenchea Ramponnkarancho Ekvott (GRE), Olencio Simoes, adding, "Even the mother fish breeding in the crevices of rocks would be fished out by LED light vessels while bull trawling would trap even the juvenile fish."
Francis D'souza, a mechanized fisherman from Zuari informed that night fishing activities are also rampant in the state. "Fishermen taking their vessels out at night is another reason why the seas have been exhausted of fish. With fishing being done 24 hours a day, without giving the fish an opportunity to breed, how will they multiply?" he lamented.
Baga-based traditional fisherman, Ronnie Fernandes feels that there is no point in venturing into the seas. "Each trip costs us Rs 2,000 for petrol and we are not able to get the kind of fish catch that can recover that amount. After all our canoes are not as equipped as mechanized trawlers."
In a ripple effect, prices of fish in local markets have skyrocketed. A fisher woman at the Panaji market Rajashree Vadyekar told TOI that a cluster of factors has led to poor availability of fish in the seas, which has badly hit the business of people like her.
"There is not much that fishermen can do when they are not able to fetch catch. But what do we do when people are hesitant to buy the little catch that there is? Inflation in fish prices affects us too."
She remains optimistic that post the ban, once boats resume activities, the market will likely stabilize. "Until then, rates are likely to stay high due to monsoon and fish ban," she added.
Owing to the high-rates, abstinence from fish for locals sadly has begun much prior to the official fishing-ban.
"As Goans we want fish first. We can survive without other food options, but fish is a necessity. Never had we thought that some of us would have to give it a miss due to exorbitant rates," said Karishma Chodankar, a resident of Chorao.

TOI Goa News

No comments:

Post a Comment