Demand for Fish on the Rise09 November 2009
PAKISTAN - The demand and sale of white meat (fish) is on rise in twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, despite high prices of different varieties of the rich sources of protein.
Kamran Raja, a fish merchant told The News, that fish consumption multiplies in winter, which was evident from a dramatic surge in their sale during the cold weather.
He said that during the current winter around 2-3 tonnes of fish arrives every day at Ganjmandi, the main wholesale fish market in Rawalpindi that supplies fish to the twin cities. He said that it was double as compared to other seasons of the year.
Mr Raja said, many fish sellers also had direct contracts with different fish farms and instead of the wholesale market they prefer to buy fish from them. He said that the demand for fish in the twin cities increases so much in the cold weather that it cannot be met with the Rawal Dam produce alone.
There are two exotic and 26 indigenous fish species in Pakistan, according to Aquaculture Fisheries Research Institute, National Agriculture Research Centre Islamabad. The fish from dam reservoirs at Mangala, Terbala and Simli as well as sea catch from Karachi include trout, ‘rahu’, ‘mahshair’, barb, silver, ‘mushka’, salmon, ‘thailla’ and ‘morakhi’.
Supplies also come from fish farms in Mandi Bahauddin, Alipur Gujranwala and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In addition to regular fish shops in the two cities, mobile fish vendors roaming around on bicycles and hand pushed carts are a common sight these days, and usually they offer a good price margin. A mobile vendor of fish said that the prices shoot up also due to transportation being more costly and the breeding farms charging more.