Mackerel ruled the roost across the state’s fishing jetties this fishing season, bringing smiles to the faces of fish exporters, but it was no big news for the boat owners.
When Union Fisheries Minister Parshottam Rupala visited Goa a week ago, Goa-based fish exporters took pride in informing him that fish to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore was exported from the State by the fish processing factories this current fishing season.
Unprecedented fish export, falling rates
The unprecedented fish export, however, seemed to have not rung in good news for the mechanised boat owners, in fact, those operating from Cutbona say that while there’s been a glut of mackerel this season, they could not rake in huge profits because of the falling rates.
Says Chairman of Cutbona Fisheries, Vinay Tari: “Mackerel was netted in abundance throughout the fishing season. But, the rate dropped drastically at the jetties, affecting the income of the boat owners. When the mackerel was selling at over Rs 100 a kilogram at the jetty, the rate hit as low as Rs 40-30 this season. Boat owners were left with no option but to sell the mackerel at the rates fixed at the jetties.”
Settle for less
Former Cutbona boat owners president, Savio D’Silva echoed similar sentiments by saying that while the boat netted tonnes of mackerel from the sea, they had to be content with less rate.
“We had to sell the mackerel even for Rs 30-40 per kilogram. Boat owners were left with no option than to either take the catch to the wholesale fish market or sell it at the prevailing rate at the jetty,” he said.
He added: “The cost of the raw material such as diesel, ration and wages remained the same, but we could not get the desired rate for the mackerel this season despite abundant catch.”
Boat owner Antush Rodrigues, operating from Cutbona agreed that though the fishing season was moderate to good, the boat owners would have earned little extra if they had to get a good rate for the mackerel.
“A kilogram of mackerel was procured at the fishing jetty for around Rs 40-60. The rate of mackerel came down to half this season affecting the income of boat owners,” he added.