Funds-starved Kasimedu fishermen all at sea

A failure to get loans to repair boats, buy nets and supplies has left many boat owners of Kasimedu unable to commence fishing operations despite the two month-long ban coming to an end.

Diesel for 3-day trip

Vijayachandiran, a boat owner who managed to get a loan of ₹50,000, said he still cannot send his boat out to sea as he would require at least ₹73,000 for 1,000 litres of diesel for a three-day trip. “I hope to get another ₹50,000 by Friday. Only if I my boat goes for fishing can I earn and get out of the rut that I am in,” he added. What is making matters worse is that last year was bad too. Instead of 10 trips a month, his boat ventured out to sea for a total of 20 times all year, he said.

M.E. Raghupathi, who owns two boats, said he won’t be able to send them out since the repairs on the vessels are yet to be completed. “Last year, I earned ₹7 lakh while I spent more during the season. This year the repairs have been on for 28 days now. I have pledged some jewellery and taken a loan from a company. The catch, as I see it, is a cycle and hopefully we will get a better catch this time,” he added.

Low money circulation

A pawn broker on S.N. Chetty Street in Kasimedu said he has not been able to provide loans due to the low level of money in circulation. “Since most of our clients are fishermen and depend on the sea and the catch has not been good for several months now, we are unable to give them loans. They are going fishing after a break of two months, so things could change for the better,” he said.

M.D. Dayalan of the Indian Fishermen Association, said that many fishermen were running from pillar to post to try and secure loans for repairs and buying provisions for fishing expeditions.

“We do not have any bank or financial institution lending to us. Fishermen have to depend on private bankers and loan sharks who charge high rates of interest. The government must ensure a financial set-up for fishermen akin to agricultural cooperative banks,” he suggested.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 12:11:38 AM |

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