Gwadar, In one week, fishermen in the coastal town of Jwani in Baluchistan, bordering Iran, found two fish that sold for more than Rs. 8 million.
Gwadar: What Is The Reason For Selling A Fish For Rs. 72 Lakh?
The two fish, Crocker, weighed 48kg and 26kg and were caught by Nakhoda Abdul Waheed and fisherman Abdul Haq. The fish were brought to Gionee’s local fish market for sale.
Abdul Khaliq, an inspector of the Fisheries Department stationed in the Jwani area of Gwadar, told Urdu News over the telephone that the bidding for the 48kg fish started at Rs. 30,000 per kg.
The last bid was made by a local trader named Sanaullah at Rs. 86 lakh at the rate of Rs. 180,000 per kg. However, according to the tradition of the market, after the last bid, a discount of Rs. 14 lakh was given to the trader who bought it, thus the owner of the boat and the captain got Rs. 72 lakh for only 48 kg of fish.
It may be recalled that two days ago, a fisherman named Abdul Haq caught a crockery fish weighing 26 kg which was sold for Rs. 780,000.
According to Fisheries Inspector Abdul Khaliq, a large portion of the value of the fish goes to the owner of the boat and the captain, and a portion is distributed to the rest of the fishermen. There are usually eight to 10 fishermen in a boat.
Expressing happiness over finding the precious fish, Na Khuda Abdul Waheed said:
“That he was lucky to get the fish that everyone is looking for. It is as if the earnings of many months and years are combined in one day.”
What Makes Fish So Expensive?
Crocker fish is called ‘Kar’ in the local Balochi language and ‘Sawa’ in Urdu.
Elahi Bakhsh, general secretary of the Fishermen’s Union, said that the local fishermen do not know what it is made of. Most of its buyers are traders based in Karachi or their agents, but there is a lot of talk about its use.
Ahmed Nadeem, Deputy Director, Gwadar Fisheries Department, told Urdu News that the price of meat of this fish is Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per kg like normal fish.
The actual price is for the white air bladder found inside the crockery which is called a photo in the Balochi language. This air bladder is in great demand in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and many European countries.
According to Ahmad Nadeem, the air bladder is used in medicine, food and threads used in surgery. It is also used to increase physical and sexual strength and to strengthen bones. The thread made from this bladder does not have to be removed after the operation and it is absorbed in the human body.
However, Moazzam Ali Khan, an aquatic life expert and technical advisor to WWF Pakistan says that fish bladder is used in special soups in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
He said that he had drunk this soup twice but there was nothing special about it. Ordinary people in our country may not like to drink it, but this luxurious food used to increase physical strength is a status symbol for Chinese princes. They are willing to pay the highest price for crockery fish soup inexpensive hotels.
According to Ahmad Nadeem, local traders freeze the fish with ice and take it to Karachi, where experts cut the stomach of the fish and remove the air bladder, and then the big traders export them abroad.
He said that the price of fish is determined by the volume of the air bladder. The bigger the air bladder, the higher the cost. In male fish, the air bladder is bigger and heavier, so it costs more, while in female fish, the bladder is smaller, so it costs many times less.
Aquatic expert Moazzam Ali said that at one time this fish was abundant on the shores of Sindh and Balochistan and sometimes a single fisherman could catch 15 to 20 crore fish. At that time, its price was not much.
Earlier, it was also used to improve the colour of wine by making it into a powder, but after the economic situation in China improved after 2005, the export of crockery fish increased, which also increased its price. He said that crockery fish was once sold in China for 1.5 million dollars
According to him, due to the increase in demand in China and other countries, crocodile fishing has also increased, due to which their number is now negligible.
According to Moazzam Ali Khan, this fish found in Iranian waters migrates to Pakistani and Indian shores in May and June, so it is more prey during these two months.
Ahmed Nadeem, deputy director of fisheries, said crocodiles also come to Pakistani areas to eat small fish called sardines. They usually come to us from May 10 to June 20.
He said that there are fishermen who hunt all year round only in this season. Their goal is to catch crocker fish. If they can catch a single fish, they can earn as much as the rest of the fishermen in a single day. That is why fishermen set their nets and wait for many days for the same fish.
Fisheries Inspector Abdul Haq said that trawlers also come from Karachi and other parts of Sindh to catch crockery fish and also enter areas near the coast in violation of the 12 nautical mile limits. Their use of large nets has endangered many other fish species, including crockery.
Elahi Bakhsh, general secretary of the Fishermen’s Union in Jeoni, said that since the news of crockery being sold at exorbitant prices, a large number of illegal trawlers from Karachi and Sindh have been turning to Jeoni.
He alleged that illegal trawlers bribed the concerned authorities to reach within 12 nautical miles where they are banned. They have forbidden nets that catch even the smallest fish, so the fish are being extinct.