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West Bengal: Demand-supply gap leaves dear fish dearer by Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay April 15,2019   |  Source: The Times of India

A sudden demand-supply mismatch has resulted in fish prices going through the roof, with even the daily staple of rohu and katla selling at double their usual cost and festive-season favourites like hilsa at four-digit prices. Fish delicacies such as Ilish Bhapa, Paturi and Sorshe Chingri, which are some of the inseparable elements of the Poila Baishakh platter, will no doubt have to quietly make way for the more prosaic Doi-Rui, Katla Kalia or Tel Koi to strike a subtle balance between taste and purse.

The market in Kolkata has a daily demand of around 550 tonnes. But, over the last few weeks, the supply from the Andhra Pradesh-Telangana-Odisha route has dipped from 150 tonnes to 100 tonnes. Adding to the problem is the dip in local supply, which has come down from a daily average of 400 tonnes to 150 tonnes. Prices usually head north around Poila Baishakh, but this year has been very different, say market insiders. “Forget Hilsa and King Prawn (Galda chingri), which may have become dearer because of the Poila Baishakh dem-and,” said Syed Anwar Maqsoo, secretary, Howrah Wholesale Fish Market Association. “Even daily staples like rohu, katla and soal have now become unaffordable.”

Despite being the second-largest fish producer after Andhra Pradesh, Bengal (17.4

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