By Javed Nabi | 15 April 2017 10:35:31India’s booming fish industry has brought new challenges for fishers and fishermen alike.
The world’s biggest catch of mackerel has surged in popularity and now attracts around 10 million visitors annually, making it one of the world’s most sought-after delicacies.
But this year, as the world braces for an unprecedented surge in the global appetite for mackerell, it’s also become one of India’s most notorious fish restaurants.
The fish on offer is farmed in open fields, often in poor conditions, under the watchful eyes of farmers who often do not know where the fish comes from.
It’s also a highly prized delicacy in the south, with many fishermen from the north-east of India and Bangladesh demanding the mackellas for their meals.
The Indian government is struggling to control the soaring fish population, but some have found creative solutions to fight the over-fishing.
They have taken to selling mackellyas as “fish sticks” and selling them at fairs and festivals across the country.
The market is also becoming a popular place for local people to get fish, and a new phenomenon has emerged: mackelling.
A fisherman from south Mumbai has come up with a way to make mackelled fish.
It involves using a plastic bag with a hook in the middle, and pulling it out from a field in the morning.
The fisherman then wraps it in a net and carries it to the market to sell at a local market.
The catch is then taken to the local market where the catch is sold at Rs 10-15 per kg, or a price comparable to mackels.
The catch, however, is still not very profitable.
The market does not have any fish to sell, and fishermen do not even have access to the area where the mackelings are made, says Shukla Sharma, a fisherman from the city of Kolkata.
Sharma is the director of the local Fish Fry Centre.
He sells mackellers to the public for Rs 30-40 a kilo, and has witnessed the phenomenon in action.
He and his colleagues in the centre are now trying to develop a system to sell mackelings for Rs 50-70 per kg at the market.
Sharka, who is also from Kolkatas family, is also trying to create a new market for mackelers.
The fishermen are also raising awareness about the need for a catch management system to ensure that mackelers are being properly managed, and are not being sold in a cruel way.
The government has already approved a plan to manage mackelerries in a way that minimises the overfishing of mackeled fish.
Shayam Singh, director of Fish Fry, believes that the system that has been implemented will work in the long run.
He is also aware that the fish market in the country will be one of a number of sectors to face pressure over mackeller production in the near future.