Colva: With the wholesale fish market at Margao yet to resume activities and owing to restrictions on movement of interstate vehicles, trawler owners have been forced to sell their bumper catch directly to customers. Ironically, this move has paid rich dividends.
Trawler owners claim that besides the increase in profits, they are satisfied selling the fresh catch to their own people.
Varca trawler owner Hector Da Costa said that he is happy with the response from his village and even from surrounding areas. “With the wholesale market closed and imported fish not coming to Goa, we bring the fish directly from the jetty to the village. Customers are happy that it is fresh and not laced with chemicals.” he said.
Peter Rodrigues from Benaulim said, “People are assured they are getting fresh fish without any additives. Customers are avoiding close contact.”
Trawlers owners said that the profits margins are more even though they have to buy ice to store the fish, engage workers to bag, weigh and hand it over to customers.
Another trawler owner Alex Pedro Fernandes said that they get cash selling directly to customers. “Selling it to transporters is like trading and hence payments were blocked. Selling it at the wholesale market was difficult as we had to wait, then sell at half the cost and sometimes give it away at a throwaway prices for fish meal plants.”
However, Rodrigues from Benaulim said that selling openly is time-consuming. “Before the trawler could even dock, trawler owners strike a deal with transporters, and as soon as the fish arrives, my workers would unload the baskets from the trawler to the jetty and our job was done.”