Eating fish in the monsoon is either taboo or shrouded in myth, for most fish is assumed to be breeding during the season and the fish that is available is presumed to be from older stocks and, therefore, of a poorer quality. While there is no reason to boycott all fish in the rainy months, it is essential to know which varieties are fit for consumption. Know Your Fish (KYF) and InSeason Fish, two India-based initiatives, are spreading awareness about seasonal and sustainable seafood consumption. They publish monthly calendars of which fish should be eaten and which should be avoided, based on breeding seasons and catch sustainability.
KYF’s co-founder Pooja Rathod says, “Many fish species do breed during the monsoon, but those such as Indian salmon, tuna and more can be eaten since they don’t. The seas are rough during this season as well, and because of the fishing ban on fisheries with large trawlers, only certain species are available."
It’s also important to diversify the seafood being consumed. InSeason Fish’s co-founder Divya Karnad says: “The traditional variety of seafood has been forgotten.... Only a maximum of 10 varieties of fish are being consumed, but fisheries are catching more than a hundred varieties, which are rich in micronutrients, but are lesser known."
Blacktip sea catfish, Indian mackerel, Indian salmon, barramundi, etc.