A group of Baloch fishermen became millionaires overnight after they caught 18 large croakers (also called Kir) in the waters of Jiwani earlier this week. The largest specimen of the catch fetched Rs500,000, whereas the smaller ones are expected to sell for around Rs100,000.
Spotted croakers and Japanese meagre are two species of large croakers found in Pakistan and have fetched very high prices to the tune of millions of rupees in the recent past. The main reason for such high prices is the large swim bladder, commonly known as fish maws found in these species which is used in making soups thought to ease pregnancy-related discomfort and cure joint pains, among other ailments.
In Pakistan, the large croaker used to be harvested for decades because of the high quality of its meat. Sajad Umer, the captain of the boat, was jubilant at the catch, which was made through bottom-set gillnets and fetched a total of about Rs800,000 during the one-day expedition.
Research Associate at WWF-Pakistan’s Information Center at Jiwani, Sudheer Ahmed, said that the fishermen caught several large croakers from the area in 2019 and 2020.
He feared that uncontrolled fishing of croakers in the area may lead to their local extinction. He called on the provincial government to take immediate measures to protect the species, which could be accomplished by declaring the region as a Marine Protected Area.