There are 600 mechanised boats operating in the city

The steep increase in diesel price has left fishermen red-faced with a call by the Association of Indian Fisheries Industry (AIFI) to mechanised boat operators in the country to terminate their voyage and return to the shore immediately.

Fuming with anger, AIFI president Y.G.K. Murti on Saturday rushed to Kolkata to hold meeting with the fishermen leaders in West Bengal and Odisha. “The exorbitant hike in diesel price will paralyse the industry at a time when we are trying to limp back to normalcy,” he said.

He said they would finalise their strategy for all India protest after submitting representations to Minister for Union Agriculture Sharad Pawar and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily.

Visakha Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association (VDBOWA) and AP Mechanised Boat Operators’ Welfare Association (APMBOA) held separate meetings here and decided to suspend fishing operations till the rollback of hiked amount.

Based on the clearance given by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, the oil companies announced the hike in the sale price by phasing out the subsidy.

The decision will entail an extra amount of Rs.10.80 per litre for the fishermen. Diesel price was enhanced in September, 2012 by Rs.6. With the latest increase, the price of diesel will go up from Rs.49.55 to Rs.60.35.

“The suspension of fishing activity will render jobless 5 lakh fishermen in the State, who depend on fishing by 1500 mechanised boats,” VDMBOA president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy said. Nearly 600 mechanised boats operate from Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour.

The diesel price hike would have cascading effect on fishing activity, he said.

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