Fishing holiday: north Kerala to cope with rise in prices

This year’s trawl ban comes amid increasing fears of the fishing communities, fishing industry and scientists that fish resources are dwindling fast along the Kerala coast. “The monsoon trawling ban causes a sharp fall in supply and hence an increase in the prices,” says KPMK Kunhi, president of the All Kerala Fish Merchants and Commission Agents Association. Dwindling catchJoseph Xavier Kalappurackal, general secretary, All Kerala Mechanised Fishing Boat Operators Association, said the dwindling catch was the biggest issue of the fishing industry. Last year’s monsoon failure, reckless fishing by large fishing companies in the deep sea and contamination of marine waters were some of the causes. Mr. Kalappurackal pointed out that while the law allowed traditional fishworkers to fish during the annual trawling ban period, the ‘valloms’ used high-power engines and other fishing gear.


As the annual 47-day ban on fishing by mechanised boats using bottom trawls took effect on Wednesday midnight, concerns of a fall in fish supplies and a rise in prices have gripped both vendors and consumers in Kozhikode and other northern Kerala districts.

“The monsoon trawling ban causes a sharp fall in supply and hence an increase in the prices,” says KPMK Kunhi, president of the All Kerala Fish Merchants and Commission Agents Association. Since the ban was on in Karnataka and Goa as well, imports from these places, especially from Mangaluru, would be restricted. However, the Beypore-based Mr. Kunhi noted that as the annual ban on fishing along the Tamil Nadu coast was lifted, imports from Tamil Nadu would marginally ease the supply issue in Kerala, particularly in the southern districts.

Mr. Kunhi pointed out that since ‘valloms’ were allowed to fish, there would be a net increase in their catch. But price would definitely go up in the coming weeks, he said. He noted that during the run-up to the trawling ban, there had been a boost in the catch by boats and ‘valloms’ alike, thus causing a general dip in the prices.

This year’s trawl ban comes amid increasing fears of the fishing communities, fishing industry and scientists that fish resources are dwindling fast along the Kerala coast. Availability of oil sardines, once abundant along the State’s coast, has trickled down.

Dwindling catch

Joseph Xavier Kalappurackal, general secretary, All Kerala Mechanised Fishing Boat Operators Association, said the dwindling catch was the biggest issue of the fishing industry. A major cause, he said quoting scientific studies, was global warming. It affected a large variety of fishes, especially oil sardines. He said a lot of other causes, both environmental and man-made, contributed to the depletion of fish resources. Last year’s monsoon failure, reckless fishing by large fishing companies in the deep sea and contamination of marine waters were some of the causes. He called for stiff action against boats that fish juveniles.

Mr. Kalappurackal pointed out that while the law allowed traditional fishworkers to fish during the annual trawling ban period, the ‘valloms’ used high-power engines and other fishing gear. This also caused damage to juvenile fish and obstructed spawning.

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