Fishing ban pushes up seafood prices in Kendrapara- The New Indian Express
KENDRAPARA: Seafood prices skyrocketed in the district shortly after the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border was closed in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19. As it is, the ban on sea fishing had already made many varieties of fish and shrimp expensive and beyond the reach of consumers.
Rajendra Behera (45), a fish seller from Rajnagar, said the price of seafood has increased by 30-100% due to the fishing ban. The situation is similar in the fish markets of Kendrapara, Pattamundai, Patkura and Mahakalapada. The prices of popular sea fish like Kani, Pomfret, Khainga, Khuranta, Bhetki, Khasuli, Eel, Stingray, shrimp and others have skyrocketed over the past week.
While the price of Pomfret, which generally sells for Rs 250 per kg has increased to Rs 400 per kg, the price of Kani has risen to Rs 200 per kg against Rs 150 per kg. Shrimp have now become a luxury for most consumers and are out of reach. Babaji Sethi, a fish vendor from Kendrapara town, said a few traders were taking advantage of the crisis by storing large quantities of fish in cold stores.
The closure of the border with Andhra Pradesh made matters worse. Due to the restrictions, traders and truckers in the neighboring state are reluctant to supply the district with fish. In an effort to conserve fish stocks at sea during the breeding season, the state government imposed restrictions on fishing by mechanized boats from April 15 to June 15.
The ban extends 12 nautical miles off the coast of Odisha and applies to all types of trawlers and mechanized boats over 8.5 meters in length. Small non-mechanized boats less than 8.5 meters in length that use nets with large openings are exempt from the ban. “Traditional fishermen have been exempted from the fishing ban. However, they are only allowed to fish in territorial waters and catch pelagic fish, ”said Joint Director of (Coastal) Fisheries Pabitra Behera.