National Association of Fishermen (NAF) Chairman Gajendra Bhanji on Tuesday demanded allotment of 20 acres to 25 acres for extension of existing Fishing Harbour in the city.
After a visit to the Fishing Harbour along with Congress leader Bolisetti Satyanarayana and fishermen activist Paradesi, he told reporters here that the fishing harbour was highly congested with no place for fishermen to sell and dry their catch.
He said that during his interaction with fishers, he found that only 100-odd mechanised boats were getting diesel subsidy and others were deprived of the benefit due to politics among two unions.
Mr. Bhanji asked the authorities to allot land, if required by resorting to reclamation near Costal Battery for expanding the fishing harbour. He strongly opposed the move by the Viskhapatnam Port Trust to relocate the fishing harbour to Bheemunipatnam stating that fishermen would need the jetty close to the port for their operational convenience.
Referring to entry of non-fishermen in fishing business, he said that most of the trawlers and mechanised boats were owned by outsiders. “While traditional fishermen get a paltry sum for their yield from the sea voyage, middlemen at various layers corner maximum benefit,” he remarked and sought remunerative price to fishermen for their catch.
He also sought measures to prevent non-fishermen into fishing as a business and demanded formation of separate ministry for fisheries, grant of ST status to fishers and loans by banks at six per cent interest.