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Every year starting April 16th, there is a ban on fishing in the Tamilnadu Coast from Thiruvallur to Kanyakumari Districts. Since scientists found fish breeding to be active in the eastern coastal belt during April and May, fishing by mechanised boats from Thiruvallur to Kanyakumari districts is prohibited between April 15 and May 29. The ban excludes fishing by country boats and catamarans.
The ban has come at a time when the heat was on the rise in Chennai. The sea food is an alternative to those who cannot consume meat during the Chennai heat. Because of the ban, the fish prices have gone through the roof. According to “The Hindu” retail plus of May 25,2008, seer fish is priced at Rs 300 to Rs 420 a kilo, Squids can range from Rs.80 to Rs.100 a kilo. Mackeral should be around Rs.100 a kilo while pomfret would range from Rs.200 to Rs.280 depending on size and colour. Crabs in season would cost Rs.160 per kilo but the price is dependent on the variety – like mud crabs, spotted ones,
If one is an early riser and visits the nearest beach, the day’s catch can be bought from the fisherman at a decent price. On this day, the fisherman was trying to sell the prawns at Rs 8/- a piece. A morning walker in the beach was negotiating forRs 6/- a piece and settled for Rs 7/- a piece.
With the ban on fishing by mechanized boats ended on May 29, 2008 the supply of fish has increased and there are reports that the prices have started coming down.
(During a visit to Thiruvanmiyur beach on June 8, 2008, the visuals of the fishermen coming to the shore with their catch were shot and these images are posted here.)