Fishermen want increased dole

As the extended fishing ban period is going to end in a week’s time, fishermen along the eastern coast are busy getting ready for venturing back into the sea. Earlier, the ban was observed for a period of 45 days and this year the government extended it to 60 days.
Fishermen repairing their nets in Rameswaram
Fishermen repairing their nets in Rameswaram


The fishermen have made the most of the ban period to get their equipment ready for the busy season ahead, which will recommence from June 14. 
Speaking to DTNext, fishermen leader Sagayam from Rameswaram said, “The nets suffer more damage than any other thing on the boat. Rough seas spoil the nets and we give at most priority to repair them. Regular maintenance will be required to get the most out of the nets as they are expensive to replace.” 
“We have given a new coat of paint to our boats and attended to minor damages. We clean our boats thoroughly during the ban period as once the fishes are loaded on the 
boat fresh, cleaning it is nearly not possible,” added Sagayam. Though the gruelling summer left the fishermen feeling a little relieved on the extension of the fishing ban, the meagre monetary compensation made it bitter for them. 
“The compensation amount of Rs 5,000 given by the government during the ban period is not sufficient,” said Sandhiagu, a fishing labour from Pamban. “Earlier, the ban period was for 45 days. Even after extending the ban for nearly 60 days, the government has not increased the relief amount provided to us,” he rued. 
“We are forced to go to Kerala to earn a little more during the ban period as we cannot run our families for nearly two months with the meagre amount of Rs 5,000,” Sandhiagu added.   
“Recently, our men went missing and got killed too, while fishing on the western front,” Sandhiagu said and demanded the government to increase the compensation amount for  the ban period. 

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