Aquaculture is the answer to delicious seafood in the monsoon

While torrential showers pelt down outside, there is nothing more comforting than the indoors, especially as you get to enjoy a delicious seafood dinner. As lovely as that picture is, there is something fundamentally problematic with the consumption of seafood during the monsoons. India places a ban on fishing during the monsoon season, from the 15th April to the 14th June on the East coast, and from the 1st June to the 31st July on the West coast. This makes brands like Cambay Tiger that rely largely on best aquaculture practices, essential to the maintenance of our diets.

This is a law that receives immense flack from the fishermen community, especially in Kerala despite the rules being relatively relaxed in the region. This is understandable, considering the loss in income that directly results from an inability to catch and sell fish during the monsoon months. This seasonal employment can be rectified either through opting for an alternative income source for the selected period, or by a diversification of skill set and a transformation of the industry. The latter obviously presents a more permanent solution. If the fishing industry were to pull back on its reliance on caught fish for its produce, then this ban on fishing during the rainy season would not pose an obstacle, and thus would not render business at a standstill. Here, Cambay Tiger is among the pioneers in this domain, relying on fish farming for its Vannamei prawns, Basa fish, mud crabs, and Tilapia.

This law is born from environmental consideration, and the need to preserve the population of various aquatic animals, so that they are not exhausted. This is an effort in sustainable exploitation of common resources, which is essential if we are to continue catching fish in the years to come without causing their extinction. Aquaculture is another step in the direction of sustainability. Cambay Tiger sources a large proportion of its produce from their own farms, creates seafood farms conducive to the fish being nutritious and rich in flavour by replicating ecosystems found in nature as they existed free from human interference.

In the long run, considering the increasing demand for fish owing to an exponential growth in population, the fish caught at sea would never be able to satisfy the demand. It is therefore imperative that we as consumers modify our consumption habits, in order to shift the supply of fish to ‘farmed’ from ‘caught’. This will also lend to a formalisation of the fishing industry given that aquaculture is not a practice that can be carried out independently and requires a more structured approach. A shift from caught fish to farmed fish will ultimately be an exercise in branding, with brands like Cambay Tiger standing for a lifestyle choice as opposed to just being a fish store.

Aquaculture also provides fresher produce through the elimination of the middleman. When fish is caught, it is sold to fish sellers or to super markets after transferring hands multiple times. Since companies like Cambay Tiger farm the fish they sell, their fish are likely to be far fresher than caught fish. Therefore buying seafood, which has been a farmed present several year round benefits, apart from being the only viable source of seafood during the monsoon months.

After the green revolution and white revolution, let the new food revolution come from our move to aquaculture. Here’s to the blue revolution!