Even before you reach the Kasimedu fishing harbour, the smell and sound of the place greets you from miles away. As early as 4 am in the morning, the market is buzzing with a lot of activity. Boats and trawlers bring in the first catch of the day including seafood including seer fish, crab, pomfret, prawn, shark, sardine, silverbellies and mackerel, which is promptly unloaded. By 5 am there is barely any space to walk. The men form a human chain while carrying the day’s catch to the market. They balance small baskets containing the fish between one and another. The discarded fish are left on the ground and even that disappears eventually!
They waste no time and sell it to the hawkers in the market, who offer the best price for their catch. The sight is not pretty at all as the area is covered with slime, fins and inedible parts of the fish and well the smell, one can just imagine! But to the thousands of fish lovers in the city, the place is pure haven.
The area is a part of the Port Trust of India’s property. The fishing activity is informal and relies on old and rudimentary boats and equipment, the fishermen currently supply fish to some of the top hotels in the city.
Fish vendors from all across the city come here every morning to make their purchases. Fishes are sold via auction, managed by women. They shout the prices of all the fish and are not bothered by the behaviour or attitude of buyers owing to the years of experience they have behind them. Prized catch like king fish, seer fish, grouper fish and shark are displayed in front of the buyers. The auctioning area is chaotic as multiple auctions happen at the same time and one needs to know the stalls well and just needs to hop from one to another to get the right price for the catch.
If you are willing to brave the smell, noise and feisty fish auctioneers, this place is worth a try for all fish lovers.