Visakhapatnam

Chaos at Vizag fishing harbour as 15 boats return with catch

Visakhapatnam fishing harbour teeming with customers and retail traders on Thursday.

Visakhapatnam fishing harbour teeming with customers and retail traders on Thursday.  

Retail traders throng auction platform despite lockdown

Even as lockdown has been enforced owing to COVID-19 threat, chaotic scenes were witnessed at the fishing harbour in the city on Thursday.

As many as 15 mechanised boats with fresh loads of fish returned to the shore. The boats had good catch of tuna, mackerel, goat fish and silver bellies fish.

Retail traders thronged the fishing harbour, not bothering about the lockdown. An utter chaos prevailed at the auction centre with fishermen and traders engaging in heavy bargaining, throwing the social distancing norms to the wind.

The personnel of State police and marine police, and the officials of Fisheries Department and Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) had to intervene to contain the situation.

The officials, along with a large posse of police force rushed to the spot and held talks with Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Operators’ Association and other organisations to hammer out a solution.

Sale allowed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Finally, it was resolved that the authorities will permit sale of fish from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily, after convincing the boat owners to use ice to enhance the shelf life of their catch.

Incidentally, the lockdown led to the closure of restaurants, hotels and exports by bulk purchasers, and the fishermen are forced to lower the prices to clear the stock.

Joint Director of Fisheries K. Phaniprakash told The Hindu that with the return of 15 boats, almost all vessels which went on a voyage from Visakhapatnam towards Gopalapatnam and Paradip to catch tuna and other fish have come to the jetty.

Assistant Director of Fisheries P. Lakshman Rao said that due to the 21-day lockdown, there were no takers for hotel, restaurants and exports.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:47:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/chaos-at-vizag-fishing-harbour-as-15-boats-return-with-catch/article31176574.ece

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