Diesel price rise hits fishermen hard

Fish workers union seeks special package from government

The fishing community, already facing a serious sustainability challenge, has been hit hard by the continuous rise in the price of diesel.

There has been a rise of ₹10 per litre of diesel over the last 10 months and the situation is such that fishermen can’t venture out into the sea for their livelihood, said Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi convener Chargles George.

The extra expenditure on each fishing trip even by the traditional boat is about ₹25,000 and the poor catch is causing immense hardship for the boat owners and the fishermen, who get paid very little on account of the poor catch.

At the same time, the boat owners are forced to pay the loans they have availed to build boats.

The loans come at 10 to 14 % interest. Besides, the fishing boat owners have to pay the cess imposed by various agencies.

Mr. George called on the government to come out with a special package for the fishermen so that they are able to overcome the present crisis-like situation.

Market intervention

The fishing scene is now dominated by mackerel catch, which is a good thing as of now. However, the fish traders some times force the fishermen to sell at rates 10 to 14 %lower than the actual price.

Mr. George claimed that while the fishermen get only about ₹10 to 15 for a kilogram of mackerel, it is sold at much higher rate in the retail market. Besides, an abundance of mackerel catch has also resulted in the price of the fish going down over the last month.

Under these circumstances, the government must also come forward to make a market intervention so that the fishermen get remunerative price for their catch, he said.

As the government has been addressing issues of sustainability and the problem of juvenile fishing, it has also to come out with a relief package and make market intervention to save the fishing sector, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:05:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/diesel-price-rise-hits-fishermen-hard/article24964899.ece

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