Rs 7 for mackerel fish on shore, Rs 100 in market
Cherthala (Alappuzha): One kg of mackerel fish (Ayala) was sold for a mere Rs 7 at an auction held at Chellanam coast the other day. A box containing 30 kg fish was sold for Rs 210. When the fish arrives in market, the price is more than Rs 100 per kg.
The fishermen who got plenty of fish after the flood havoc have been put in distress due to the immense price drop. Fixing no base price for the fish and the tricks of the middlemen are considered as the reasons for the price fall.
The best price for mackerel received by the fishermen in the past week was Rs 20 per kg. The bidders bargain with the fishermen by raising issues like less demand for fish, scarcity of ice and the like and reduce the price.
Fishermen in smaller boats sell fish on their own whereas fishermen in inboard boats, in which 70-80 labourers work, struggle to find a market for fish, said Devoos, a fisherman.
The fishermen opine that if the Matsyafed is willing to collect fish from them, the wholesale merchants will be compelled to fix a fair price. The fishermen need to get at least Rs 30 to survive the situation.
Coastal Area development and Liberation Secretary Joy C. Kambakkaran said that a base price need to be fixed for the fish. Not getting a fair price even after high yield is exploitation. Matsyafed should take action with regard to the pricing of fish, he demanded.
Chairman of Matsyafed P. P. Chitharanjan said that as Matsyafed has no collection points, it cannot intervene in the issue. We are designing projects to resolve the issues. The initial steps to fix a base price for the fish in the major centres are underway, he added.