As the severe drought left the trails of devastation in the state, as evident by the huge crop loss, the impact has also resulted in an insufficient yield of fishes in the rivers in and around Mysuru district.
As a result, the Karnataka State Co-operative Fisheries Federation Limited (KSCFF) importing river fishes from Andhra Pradesh to meet the demand of the consumers as ponds, lakes, river sources have gone dry in the district.
The federation was hitherto procuring fishes from the river waters of KRS, Kabini, Hemavathi and Kapila, along with lakes and ponds in the villages but the deficient rainfall this year has changed the scenario with the majority of the lakes in all seven taluks going dry thus leading to the shortage in the procurement of fishes.
The daily demand for fish in the state is six tonnes in urban areas and around 1.2 tonnes in rural areas. But presently the federation could procure only around two tonnes of fish locally while the remaining is being bought from neighbouring state.
Every week around 60 tonnes of fish is being imported from Andhra Pradesh which has led to a slight increase in prices of fishes. Catla fish which was earlier being sold at Rs 110-120/kg is now being sold at Rs 145. There are 122 outlets in the state, of which 46 kiosks located in Mysore district alone.
KCSFF officials say that river and reared fishes such as Catla, Common Carp and Roe are preferred over sea fishes for their distinctive culinary taste and affordable price tags leading to increase in demands. The KCSFF is now importing Catla, Mrigal Carp and Common Carp from Andhra Pradesh to meet the demands of the fish lovers.
According to the officials, the farmers have stopped rearing fishes in ponds due to insufficient water which has also contributed to tsevere drop in supply.
Delicious fish cuisines by January
KCSFF will launch various fish delicacies such as fish cutlet, fish samosa, fish burger, fish lollipop, fish ball starting from January. Selected women entrepreneurs will be sent to undergo one week training at The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin, where experts will be training women on preparing fish byproducts.
About 25 members belonging to Fisheries Department society and along with some people from self-help groups have been selected.. All the machinery and equipment required to make the byproducts have been set up at the federation located in Vidyaranya Puram in the city.
By Mujahid Deputy