Annual fishing ban period extended

No clarity on payment of compensation to crew

April 14, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:47 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

With annual fishing ban commencing on April 15, mechanised boats returning to the jetty in Visakhapatnam on Monday.— Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam

With annual fishing ban commencing on April 15, mechanised boats returning to the jetty in Visakhapatnam on Monday.— Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam

After several turns and twists, the Centre has extended the annual holiday for motorised boats in the East Coast from 47 to 61 days.

Though the conservation period also known as annual ban begins every year from April 15 for a period of 45 to 47 days, the Ministry of Agriculture clarified only on Monday that it will be 61 days this year.

The delay was attributed to Centre’s reluctance to pay compensation to boat crew for the extended period. Generally, the Centre gives rice through the States at the rate of 30 kg. per family for the ban period. However, at the March 18 meeting convened by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the report submitted by a technical committee came up for discussion. Holiday will be observed in West Coast from June 1 to July 31.

Fishing associations have been baying for uniform ban period in both the coasts. Even now there is no clarity as to who would pay the rice or cash compensation for the extended period.

Sources in the industry told The Hindu that the Centre wanted the States concerned to pay compensation for the extended ban period.

Association of Indian Fishery Industry (AIFI), AP Mechanised Boat Operators’ Welfare Association and Dolphin Boat Operators’ Association have sought cash compensation to boat crew, who are rendered jobless during the ban period, at the rate of Rs.150 per day as being given in Puducherry.

AIFI president Dr. Y.G.K. Murti said they had sought extended ban period in the hope of a rich harvest. Post-Hudhud, fishermen have been complaining that there is drastic fall in catch. Before Hudhud also dwindling catch has remained a matter of serious concern.

Nearly 4,000 mechanised boats are being operated from Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam and other jetties in A.P.

“We are keen on payment of cash compensation through bank transfer,” said APMBOWA president P.C. Appa Rao and DBOWA president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy.

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