The Fortune Fish that every trawler operator aspires to net in Odisha Coast.

Balasore: Contrary  to the  view of long voyage fishing and bumper catch,  a catch with a particular variety of fish (belonging to Scrombroid group) has changed the life of several trawler owners overnight.

Believe it or not while the average size of a fish is around 20 kg, each one is sold not less than Rs 50,000.

Although this variety of fish hardly keeps any importance for the Fisheries Department, yet it is the most sought one for the people in the fishing sector. This fish is locally known as Telia.

“It has got a massive economic value. It is always in high demand. This particular species of fish belongs to “Scrombroid Group” which grows to a large size”,  says SS Acharya, the Additional Director Fisheries, Marine
Wing Balasore.

The species is known as “Spotted Croaker”.

“I have been in the  marine fishing sector since over 20 years,  yet only in 1996 I had a catch with few Telias. It fetched me a good amount. Since then I never found myself fortunate though always I aspire for  the second occasion,” says Purnachandra Mahanta.

“I have operated from fishing base of Paradip as well as Balramgadi but so far didn’t find the chunk again. The telia fishes are generally found near the estuary  and to my belief one is lucky enough to find them near Dhamra. The golden Telia fishes carry more demand,” he adds.

This year two trawlers  in the month between August and September could net the most sought after fish. While one of them could earn Rs 8 lakh the other one became richer by around Rs 4.2 lakh. But couple of years ago a trawler owner could earn nearly Rs 17 lakh by a single catch of Telia after disposing them, he recollects.

According to persons in the fishermen community, while the dressed fish is sold Rs 2,000 per kg, the intestinal items too sold against lips price. The fish is also in high demand and is also exported to abroad.

“I had a catch last year and earned a handsome amount. The fish is sold like hot cake sooner the catch arrives fishing base. There are buyers for Telia in each base  be it Balramgadi, Dhamra, Paradip or Kasafal,” informs Pradipta Mohapatra, a trawler owner.

“Balasore’s Balaramgadi fishing base has nearly 300 trawlers including high power ones and yet everyone aspires for Telia. It is a matter of chance and luck. It can change one’s life while it has scripted turnaround story for few fortunate owners”, Mr. Mohapatra narrates.