Godavari river deprived of Pulasa in Vizag

  • | Tuesday | 31st August, 2021

 Fishermen got only a few in the month of August, which is the main month of the catch.

 People are taking rounds to places where the boats were anchored in certain pockets at three tributaries of River Godavari - Vainateya, Vasistha, and Gowtam for the rare fish.

Lack of conservation, overfishing and pollution cause the dwindling number of the famous Pulasa fish in River Godavari.

The catch of Pulasa has come down abnormally this year compared to last year.

 Fishermen got only a few in the month of August, which is the main month of the catch.

"We hardly earned only Rs. 10,000 till date because there was no catch. We only got small ones weighing half a kilogram. Usually, we would get Rs. one lakh by the end of August," one of the fishermen in Yanam, V.Pothuraju said.

Two kilograms of Pulasa fish was sold for a whopping price Rs. 17,000 at Yanam surroundings a few days ago. Earlier, people used to buy Pulasa Rs. 2,000 per kg. Pulasa also known as hilsa or tenualosa ilisha, is a migratory fish and appears in River Godavari in Monsoon. It would come for breeding in this season.

According to fisheries department officials, there were around 40 tonnes of catch two decades ago. Now, it has come to two to four tonnes of catch. "The statistics are not perfect as we never calculated the catch.

Because it is a migratory fish called Hilsa when it is in the sea. It will come for breeding in the River Godavari basin in the monsoon season. When it comes to saltwater to freshwater, many changes would take place in the fish and its taste would also change," the Additional Director of Fisheries in East Godavari P Koteswara Rao told TOI.

People would make the advance payment to the fishermen of Dowleswaram, Yanam, Kotipalli and other parts of East Godavari. Fishermen also interestingly go for the catch of Pulasa as they would get more money than the routine varieties.

There was no chance of breeding of the fish as there is no fisheries engagement and fishermen are eagerly catching the fish where size doesn’t matter.

It has been resulting in the gradual depreciation of the numbers. "Pulasa is tastier due to fatty acids in the fish and the fat content would be 20% to 30% in it.

There was no breeding of Pulasa in the state. Research and development should be taken by the government. A study should be conducted, conservation and management aspects should also be taken care of,” a researcher in Zoology P Srinivasa Rao said.

Conservation of Hilsa is around 60% 70% in Bangladesh because the country has sanctuaries, conservation period and also gear restrictions mean size of nets, Additional Director Koteswar Rao said.

“Here, small fishes below half a kilogram are also caught by the fishermen. Naturally, the number would come down. We won’t get the Pulasa in the future,” Researcher Srinivasa Rao said.

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