Marine fish is scarce in the markets these days due to the fishing ban coming into force and also due to the rough seas during the monsoon months. It is inland water fish that is come to the rescue of Goans since they cannot do without nustyachi kodi in their daily meals. Inland water fish is in demand presently as several people consume it during the rainy season.
With the beginning of monsoons the variety of sea fish available in the markets is less and also the prices of it is high. Then there is the fear of formalin in fish coming from other states. Several people go in for the inland water fresh fish. The demand for fresh fish is high in both urban and the village markets during the monsoon season as there is less availability of fish during the rains, according to the information available from the sources.
It may be noted that various types of traditional nets are used depending on the need and on the type of fish to be caught. Night time fishing in inland waters is productive and so people mostly go in groups during the night time. There are several varieties of inland water fishes which are caught during the rains like Khaval, Tigur, Dhemake, Maral, Kharchaney, Kalunar, Kuddo and Shivad from the various rivers, backwaters, lakes and water bodies. Some residents also do fishing in the fields during copious rains when low-lying farm land is inundated with water.
The state of Goa has around 3300 hectares of water spread area of freshwater bodies covering Salaulim reservoir in the South Goa and Anjunem dam reservoir in North Goa. Besides, smaller water bodies are spread in the various parts of which some are perennial and some are seasonal. When the water is less than knee deep, Shene a traditional net is used for catching the fish, while another type of net, Yene is used when the water is deep to just less than the height of a man. In more deeper water ‘Katali’ is used and this net is mostly used by fishermen who go in for fishing with canoes, according to the information available from the sources.
The inland water fishing offers a good opportunity for youth as it generates self- employment for the hinterland rural youth. Young boys of the village go fishing in the dark of the night. They generally go in groups and minimum three persons are present in a group. One to catch fish, the other to hold the lamp and the third, to hold the bag containing fishes. Residents spend two to three hours for catching fish and once the fish is caught it is distributed equally. Sometimes if the catch is big it is sold to friends or relatives.
“Some people go in group to catch fish so that they can sell the fish, however the fish are sold at various prices and the price depends on the quantity available and the demand in the market. The demand is usually good for the fresh water fish during the monsoon season and there is good rate in local markets. A small vato of mixed fish costs Rs 200 while a vato of prawns is about Rs 400. Some residents buy the fish for preparing curry and some fry them,” said a local vendor.
A person going for fishing during the monsoon said, “When we go for fishing in the fresh water we especially go during the nighttime as the fish come to the surface. The nights are selected when there is no moonlight or less moonlight so that the only light is from the lamp we carry along with us.”
He also added, “The fish gets attracted towards the lamp light during the night time as it is the only source of light and it becomes easier to catch them as their movement is restricted by the lamp light. While during the daytime the fish move everywhere and it becomes difficult to catch them.”
According to a local woman, “Fish is needed in our food, it may be two to three days a week and during the monsoon season hardly any marine fish is available so we have to depend on the availability of inland fish. The quantity of fresh fish available in the state is less during this season and to meet the demand of the fish in the state it is also brought from other states.”