Hilsa price soars to Rs 800-1000 kg

Kendrapara: The price of Hilsa, a culinary delicacy, has shot up in Odisha with a kg selling at Rs 800-1000 in Paradip and adjoining markets, threatening the livelihood of over 5,000 fishermen.

While 625 tonnes of hilsa yield was reported from Paradip and adjoining Kendrapara districts last year, it had dropped to about 50 tonnes this year, Rabi Narayan Pattnaik, Assistant director of fisheries, Paradip, said.

"It is a matter of concern as traditional marine fishermen from lower economic background are being mostly affected", he said.

The drop has come as a major threat to the livelihood of over 5,000 fishermen in the coastal districts of Odisha.

Besides the fishermen, daily earning of the weavers of fishing nets, traders, trading agents, ice factory owners has also waned, he said.

"The daily catch was at least 20 times higher last year. We are contending with the diminishing yield with the hope of better yield in the coming days, Narayan Haldar, president, Orissa state traditional marine fish-workers` union, said.

Experts are of the view that erratic monsoon and deficient rainfall have resulted in the disappearance of the itinerant Hilsa species.