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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 6.37 PM IST

'Seismic shift in shrimp trade'; Kochi's famous fish restaurants on brink of closure

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KOCHI: Fishermen engage laboriously spending nights in the faraway turbulent sea to bring their 'best catch' to the shore. Despite the yeoman efforts, the fishermen, agents and boat owners of Beypore harbour are caught in a delirium. The payment for the last 10 months has been stalled which has aggravated the crisis for the community.

Many such boats in Beypore are now anchored to the harbour, unable to engage in fishing activities since the delayed payments have made it difficult for them to buy diesel. With work opportunities plummeting, migrant workers have fled Beypore and moved to other parts of the state. Some agents of Beypore who carted these fishes to Kochi are now caught in a debt trap and are on the edge of suicide. The delayed payment from the export companies in Kochi has turned many lives in Beypore upside down.

For a long, Kochi was the prominent name for exporting fish to European markets. With the reduction in the price of Koonthal fish and China Thalayan, the fish business saw signs of crumbling in Kerala. Popular fish breeds including shrimps used to be exported to America and Japan from Kerala ports and the market assured decent profits for the community.

The crisis loomed large when America and Japan placed an embargo on shrimp trade from Kerala as these countries feared business to lead to the extinction of rare sea turtles. Presently, the fishing activities in Beypore and Puthiyappa harbour are at a standstill. Almost 60% of cargo movement is on halt. Some restaurants in Kochi, exclusively known for their fish culinary, are on the brink of shutting down after not receiving the special breed of fish, which they used to attract customers.

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TAGS: KOCHI, FISH, TRADE, KERALA, CLOSING, SUICIDE, BEYPORE, COCHIN, HOTEL
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