Fishermen seek early disbursal of relief for ban and lean period

Citing these, he said the government should disburse the relief at the earliest as fishermen had no other source of livelihood.
Fishermen seek early disbursal of relief for ban and lean period
Representative image

MADURAI: Fishermen working on mechanised boats have asked the State government to expedite the disbursal of monetary relief for the 61-day annual fishing ban period.

Dharmapichai, a mechanised boat fisherman in Thoothukudi, on Thursday said the dredging work taken up a couple of months ago at the fishing harbour was still going on. Even months prior to the annual ban, fishing operations had to be halted due to the dredging, as it affected the livelihoods of all fisherfolk.

Citing these, he said the government should disburse the relief at the earliest as fishermen had no other source of livelihood.

“The fishermen have been ignored by the government, which should provide mobile medical facilities, similar to those provided to construction workers through its welfare board,” he added.

“The fishermen earned a lot for the government through seafood exports and the government enjoys foreign exchange revenue.”

But the fate of the fishermen is harder to predict. After the age of 58, fishermen could not avail of benefits from cooperative societies and hence, he sought the government to extend pension benefits.

He expressed hope that fisheries minister Anitha Radhakrishnan would fulfil these demands in the interest of fishermen.

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