Fishing operations using mechanised boats in the sea off the Prakasam coast recommenced on Wednesday after a 47-day closed season imposed by the authorities to conserve fish and other marine resources during their breeding season.

“We expect to have a good season this year,” a group of fishermen led by Kothapatnam Palepalem Sarpanch Naidu Prabhu Prakash said before venturing into the sea, amid pre-monsoon showers.

As many as 38 mechanised boats and 2110 motorised ones, fitted with motors, are back in action in the over 100 kilometres of coastline in the district, Fisheries Additional Director G. Venkat Rao said.

Surveys

The fishermen have brought their boats after going for overhaul and giving a fresh coat of paint in the coastal mandals of Ongole, Kothapatnam, Chirala, Vetapalem, Chinnaganjam, Nagulapapadu, Tangutur, Singarayakonda, Ulavapadu, and Gudluru.

Over 2,000 non-motorised boats in the district had continued fishing during the conservation period.

The closed season has helped improve the fish stock in deep sea.

Periodic surveys conducted by the Fisheries survey of India have confirmed this, added Mr. Venkat Rao. The State government had provided 31 kg of rice to each of the 7000 families during the closed season, he added.

He said 33,500 sea-faring fishermen of 66 coastal villages in the district would shortly be provided with identity cards ensure their safety on the high seas and effectively guard the vast coastline to avert any terror strikes similar to the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

The process of preparing the biometric ID cards had been completed by the public sector Electronic Corporation of India (ECIL), he added.

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