Call to train fishers in deep sea fishing

The Chamber of Kerala Seafood Industry has said that fishers in the State should be provided all help, training and equipment to exploit the country’s deep sea resources now being exploited by foreign trawlers.

A spokesman for the chamber said here on Wednesday that seafood processors in the State were facing an extremely lean period with work dwindling sharply because of a big fall in local catch.

The industry was sustained mostly by aquaculture in States like Andhra Pradesh. The wild catch had dwindled even though there was great potential for the Indian fishers to exploit the resources. The remarks come in the wake of the controversy over signing of an agreement to build deep sea trawlers for fishing activities. The agreement between the government agency Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation and a U.S.-based company was withdrawn after widespread protests by traditional fishers across the State.

The spokesman for the chamber said that an estimate by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) had said that India had the potential to catch about 6.3 lakh tonnes of deep sea squid.

The resource was not being exploited because of the constraints and these were being caught by foreign trawlers without any benefit to the Indian fishers and the seafood industry, he said.

The deep sea resources do not come nearer to the shore, thereby not enabling the local traditional fishers to exploit the resources, the spokesman said.

The depletion in deep sea catch had been most visible since the cyclonic storm Ockhi hit the Indian shores in late 2017.

Seafood processors as well as fishers had experienced a steep fall in business since then.

The processors have also been at the receiving end of the adverse conditions because they are unable to meet the requirements of the industry, which employs thousands of people across the State.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 8:13:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/call-to-train-fishers-in-deep-sea-fishing/article33984319.ece

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