Fishers welcome new system of sale at harbours

The Chellanam fishing harbour was witness to a historic change in sales this week with the catch being weighed before being sold to wholesale merchants.

The price was fixed after the catch was weighed. It is a big break from the past that will help the poor fishers realise better prices and possibly escape a system that did not give them the real value for their efforts.

It was a practice up till COVID-19 to sell by making an overall assessment of the catch in a fishing boat as it landed at the harbour. However, fishermen’s unions are now insisting that the landings be assessed according to their weight before a price is fixed.

This will end the practice of exploiting the fishermen, said T. Peter of National Fish Workers’ Forum on Wednesday. T.V. Majeendran of Matysa Thozhilali Federation welcomed the development and said it was a great development and a break from the past. It was the end of a cycle of exploitation, he said.

The sale of fish from a landing boat in Chellanam early this week was the culmination of efforts by various agencies to end the system of fixing a price for the catch without assessing the quantity. Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi said the State government had tried to end the practice of fish sales without proper assessment and to free wholesale transactions from the hands of brokers and middlemen.

Mr. Majeendran said that the demand for fixing a fair price for the catch had been raised decades ago. However, the call had found resonance now with the traditional fishers now.

Mr. Peter said that the example in Chellanam should be replicated in all the fishing harbours across Kerala so that the traditional fishers would escape the cycle of exploitation. He said that the federation supported the new system of sales with the weight of fish being the prime consideration.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 8:51:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fishers-welcome-new-system-of-sale-at-harbours/article31964888.ece

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