In defiance of fishing ban, 70 pc trawlers venture into sea
The mechanized boats would stay at least 20 days for deep fishing, whereas the fiber boats won’t last for more than three days.
CHENNAI: At least 70 percent of fishing boats venture into the sea despite the annual fishing ban period that commenced in Tamil Nadu on April 15th. Fishermen stated that the subsidy provided by the State government is not sufficient for their livelihood, so the trawlers went fishing based on the demand among the public.
“Usually, only 30 – 40 percent of fishermen venture into the sea during the annual ban period, and though trawlers venture for fishing all these years there were no steps taken by the government. The subsidy money of Rs 6,000 for 60 days is not enough to manage the monthly expenses. We do not have a choice but rather go for a catch, so our livelihood is not impacted,” said M Murali, a fisherman at Kasimedu fishing harbor.
He added, “With the surge in fuel rates, and maintenance charges for the boats we are unable to manage from the daily income. The annual ban period worsens the situation every year, so more fiber boats ventures into the sea for fishing.”
The mechanized boats would stay at least 20 days for deep fishing, whereas the fiber boats won’t last for more than three days. But the fish would be fresh comparatively, and the demand for it rises among the customers. It results in double the prices of seafood at the market. However, the majority of the fishermen did not go for the catch fearing the government would take action or won’t provide any subsidy.
“Despite the state government’s instructions not to venture for fishing and they mentioned that there won’t be relief fund given in case of any mishap. These fishermen can go for a catch within 200 meters. If it continues the department would cancel the license after the ban,” said M Rajan, another fisherman.
The seafood prices increased by 30 percent in the markets, at present seer fish (vanjiram) sold for Rs 1,000 per kg, trevally (para) Rs 500 per kg, prawns Rs 350 – Rs 450 per kg and anchovy (nethili) Rs 300 per kg.