ISLAMABAD   -  The chilly nights of winter bring a large number of vendors to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad from across the country, setting up roadside stalls to cater to the growing demand of raw and cooked fish of the residents who flock markets at the weekend to buy sea food.  Almost an equal number of cooked or raw fish stalls are set up in various markets of both the cities including Aabpara, Sitara, Melody, Jinnah Super, Commercial Market, Saddar and at some long thoroughfares such as Murree Road. Over six tones fish of various kinds was brought to Gunj Mandi Rawalpindi daily to meet demand from various markets of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Sagheer Ahmed, a wholesale dealer told APP. He said though around 7-8 types of fish were being consumed in the twin cities but at the present demand of two major kinds including Mushka and Kala Rahu was at peak. Sagheer said fish was also being supplied to the twin cities from other areas including Khanpur, Alipur and Rawal dams, Hassan Abdal, Karachi, Mandi Bahauddin as sellers directly bought the commodity from farms. He foresaw 100 per cent increase in fish demand in both the cities during the next month when temperature would drop drastically. To a query, he said Mushka wholesale rate was around Rs 5,000 per 40 kilogram whereas Kala Rahu rate was limited to Rs 4,000 per kilogram. Muhammad Rafique, a seller at Sitara Market sector G-7, said the consumption of fish in the federal capital had increased, adding, “This is the best time to earn handsome profit from fish business.” 

He said, Rahu was being sold at Rs 600 per kg, Tafi at Rs 700 per kg, Mushka at Rs 800 per kg and Finger fish at Rs 1,000. Rafique also pointed out increasing number of stalls in Sitara Market and said with start of this month, five more stalls had been set up in the area.

“I cannot restrain myself from eating fish thrice a week in winter due to its delicious taste,” said Shehroz Ahmed, a buyer at Melody food park.

He said during winter season he used to visit food park for eating fish with his friends and family.

Describing health benefits of fish, Dr Qasim Raza, a nutritionist, said fish is rich in protein, vitamins and nutrients that can help maintain blood pressure and cope with heart ailments.

He said many studies had suggested for consumption of fish two times a week for a healthy person.