Severe shortage of ice hit the first day of fishing operations in the city as the annual conservation-cum-ban period ended on Friday.

As several boat owners lined up at ice plants, the owners were forced to tell them to wait for a few days. “We expected that 50 per cent of 600-odd mechanised boats will undertake voyage today. Due to ice shortage, only 30 per cent could venture into the sea,” Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, who could sent one of the two boats owned by him on a voyage, said.

The city has 15 ice plants on which the fishing boats depend to meet their requirement. They have a production capacity each ranging from 30 to 90 tonnes a day. The price per tonne has been enhanced to Rs.1300 from last season’s Rs.1200.

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