Udupi: A deep sea fishing boat that had sailed off from the Malpe port found that a giant stingray fish was trapped in its net. The fishermen of the area were taken aback by the sheer size of the fish, which weighed 750 kg.
The Maple port in Udupi is 405km from Bengaluru.
The fish got entangled on Wednesday in the net spread out by 'Nagasiddi', a boat owned by Prakash Bangera from Malpe. The fish was shifted to the shore with the help of a crane.
This kind of fish is considered tasty and is also exported. The sight of such a gigantic fish kindled the taste buds of the connoisseurs of seafood. The fish is called 'Thorake' or 'Kombu Thorake' in Tulu.
Stingrays are unique cartilaginous fish with flat bodies and long, barbed tails.
Prakash Bangera had got on his trawling boat last week and when it returned to the port, he had to hire a crane to lift the fish and put it in a pick-up truck.
The large catch had attracted the attention of many and locals gathered in the port area to catch a glimpse of it.
Images and videos of the same had gone viral on social media and personal messaging groups.
Speaking to IANS, Bangera said that such big catch only generates headlines, but fails to attract buyers.
"I sold the fish at Rs40 per kg, and though I made a profit, it was not as lucrative as it would have been had I caught a small fish, which would have fetched me no less than Rs300 per kg," Bangera said.
According to him, generally when the trawling boat catches such big fish, if it is alive they let it go back to the sea. But unfortunately, this particular fish was dead due to entanglement of net, and the fishermen thought that bringing it to the shore would be a better option.
Mangaluru Fishermen Association President, Krishna S. Suvarna, told IANS, "The weight may vary but they (such big fish) are caught on a regular basis. This happened in Malpe and not in a remote area where it would not have been reported. But due to a large crowd in Malpe and because of social media, it has gone viral," he said.
He added that this fish is liked very much by the people in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where it is likely to be sold, instead of Karnataka. "In local parlance in Tulu language, this is called Thorake fish, which belongs to the Sting Ray fish family," he said.
Suvarna added that such a fish fisrt needs to be shifted to specialised people who cut it properly and then it needs to be packed. "Generally, such big fish enthuse hoteliers and restaurant owners who specialise in coastal cuisine across India," he said.
Earlier in May 2019, a deep sea fishing boat had caught a 1,200kg stingray after spending 10 days in the sea off the same Malpe port. Stingrays are considered a delicacy among sea food connoisseurs.
Stingrays are part of the shark family and are also cartilaginous fish meaning they don't have any truebones. While there are known 220 varieties of stingrays, many of them are on the verge of extinction due to unregulated deep sea fishing with 45 of them categorised as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.