3 Jan 2011


Fish Eye View Of The Fish Festival

There's something about fish. There were none of the tired faces and calculating eyes greeting people at festivals and exhibitions seen across India at this festival. It was the surmai-size smile and the festive atmosphere of the few men and the many women who were cooking and serving fish delicacies that greeted visitors to the Fish Festival organised by the Fisheries Department at BKC.

Most of the food stalls were set up by different communities and their co-operative societies, from all over Mumbai (Madh, Kolaba, Vasai, Versova, Mahul, etc.) and several from Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg.

The fishing community seems to be very god-fearing. Every stall has a mandatory "God" photo.

After all, fishing is risky business. The rough seas, the perishable produce and one of the only surviving professions where the method is still "hunting" in the wild.

Technology has reduced the risks. The rough seas can be avoided thanks to the INSATs, the perishable produce lasts longer thanks to ice and frozen supply chains and the hunters are armed with sonars to chase shoals.

Moreover, the hunters are multiplying. The hunted are slowly disappearing through our guts.

True, we can rear fish. But it's going to take a lot of time for our taste buds to change. And that's opportunity for some. Will our sea-side fishing communities evolve to the challenge?

According to some of the people I spoke to at the festival, the Fish Festival concentrated on the business and marketing of fish. But the real effort should be on how to improve and manage our dwindling fish stocks. Only then would it be a festival for Fish.

Please read this wonderfully written article in ET by an old favourite, Vikram Doctor, on the state of fisheries in Maharashtra. Click here.


Lakshmi said...

very fishy indeed...have a great 2011..

Curry Spice said...

This is quite brilliant G. We see completely different things.

The knife said...

Haunting pics G. They showed Bourdain at Chile on TV yesterday. Apparently there is a lot of fish farming at Chile and they spoke of similar issues yesterday.

Would have loved to see some food shots. I find Malvani curries quite a challenge to shoot.

Nice observation Jyo

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Lakshmi: Happy new year!

Jyotika: You only saw the food! And for good reason.

Kalyan: I will check out the rerun. I love Bourdain. However, I didn't click food shots. I find clicking Indian food well, very difficult. It's the presentation. Our food is only meant to be eaten! The reason I didn't try clicking was because there were two other food bloggers there concentrating on the food!

I promise to try clicking pictures the next time I go to a Malvani restaurnt.

Curry Spice said...

Oh! I think you have already taken some pics of Malwani food. You mind mailing them over or posting them.

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