Fishers hail lockdown relaxation

Government clarification sought on some issues

The community of fishers has welcomed the lockdown relaxation extended to marine fisheries by the State government but called for clarity on some issues.

While the government has allowed large boats with inboard engines to venture out with maximum 20 fishers on board, there is no clarity on the use of carrier boats that accompany the large boats, said Antony Kurisinkal of Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation.

It is also not realistic to ask fishers to operate large boats with 20 people in place of the usual 40, said Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi.

Mr. George also said the government should have allowed large boats to venture out for multi-day fishing. A majority of the 3,800 large boats in operations are engaged in multi-day fishing and it is not economical for them to restrict their ventures to a single day, he added.

V.D. Majeendran of the Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation welcomed the relaxations that had benefited the small operators in a big way. The small boat owners were happy and were able to make both ends meet during these difficult times. But the government should play a proactive role and ensure the regulations are adhered to strictly, he said.

Mr. Antony said fishers, especially those in Alappuzha, had to travel by road to harbours like Chellanam and Fort Kochi to venture out in their boats. The police are keeping a watch on movement of people and often these fishers are not allowed to cross the district border. He said nearly 1,200 fishers from Alappuzha come daily to Chellanam and Fort Kochi these days and issuing passes in advance would help them overcome the travel woes. The passes are issued often after 8 a.m. and it is not possible to wait till the time for fishing operations to start on a daily basis, he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 5:57:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fishers-hail-lockdown-relaxation/article31511395.ece

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