Chennai

Fishers pledge nets for money, as they run out of cash during lockdown

In dire straits: With retail sales remaining tepid, fishermen are struggling to meet even their every day needs.

In dire straits: With retail sales remaining tepid, fishermen are struggling to meet even their every day needs.   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

No arrangements have been made for retail sale of fish even if traditional craft go fishing, they say

Fishers in many villages have resorted to pledging their nets with buyers to tide over the present crisis due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

With fishing not being allowed for bigger boats and no arrangements made for retail sale if traditional craft go for fishing, they have run out of cash to feed their families.

K. Bharathi of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association said that fishers, who usually fish in groups of 40 or 50 and use long nets, are resorting to this. “They promise the wholesaler all the fish in their next catch and take money in advance. Almost all the big valai groups are doing this. They get about ₹2-3 lakh and divide it amongst themselves to buy provisions,” he said.

Durai Mahendran of Pulicat said that this is a practice that fishers followed when they were in need of large sums for maybe building a boat or buying a net or even a family function. “That wouldn’t be done often and would be the last resort. This is perhaps the first time they are doing so to buy rice and provisions. This is because they are unable to sell the fish that they catch,” he said.

Most villages are going for fishing only to bring back fish for use at their own homes. This is because no arrangements have been made for retail or wholesale sales as promised by the Fisheries Department, said fishermen.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 9:22:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fishers-pledge-nets-for-money-as-they-run-out-of-cash-during-lockdown/article31639216.ece

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