Loss of fishing days a major concern for coastal community

The continuous loss of fishing days has turned out to be a great threat to the economic welfare of fishers, especially along the coastal segment between Fort Kochi and Alappuzha, which faces the wrath of rough sea conditions, including heavy winds and rain, along the coast.

“There are more than 200 traditional small boats that usually operate out of the Chellanam fishing harbour on a daily basis. But it is now more than a fortnight since they ventured out because of the weather conditions,” said P.A. Charles, formerly a fisherman but now working as an autorickshaw driver to make both ends meet.

He said that a few of the traditional small boats that ventured out for short fishing trips were fined by the authorities and since then no small boats had set out even for brief periods.

M. Majeed of All India Deep Sea Fishers’ Association said that the operations at the Thoppumpady fisheries harbour, one of the busiest fisheries landing centre in the State, had been hit and around 700 longline and gillnet boats remained stranded in the harbour because of the weather conditions. Though the situation is calm in the deep sea, there were issues close to the shore, where the sea was rough, not allowing either the launch of operations or the safe return of boats from the deep sea, he said.

The virtual freezing of fishing operations has landed thousands of fishers in serious trouble. Seven people man longliners and deep sea fishing boats on an average. Nearly 5,000 people have been rendered jobless because of the weather conditions. There are hundreds of others who depend on fish landing operations that include transportation, cleaning and ice making.

He said that the COVID-19 restrictions and bad weather conditions had resulted in serious loss of fishing days even as there was a steep fall in the traditional catch of shrimps and other fishes during the season.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:02:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/loss-of-fishing-days-a-major-concern-for-coastal-community/article37081485.ece

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