Andhra Pradesh

Boat operators to resume fishing on June 2

Mechanised boats being spruced up at the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

With the new fishing season scheduled to start here from June 2, the Fisheries Department has decided to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to ensure social distancing for sale of catch brought to the shore from next week.

Joint Director of Fisheries K. Phaniprakash told The Hindu that a meeting was organised on Thursday with the representatives of boat operators, seafood exporters and other stakeholders to ensure social distancing post voyage to prevent unseemly incidents that were witnessed at the fishing harbour immediately after imposition of lockdown.

Incidentally, fishermen are caught unawares over the Centre’s decision to reduce the period of annual fishing ban and resume fishing from June 1 instead of June 15 as per original schedule.

The decision to reduce the ban period has been taken following representations from Tamil Nadu and other States and keeping in view the loss of livelihood during lockdown for the past two months.

The boat operators’ associations in Visakhapatnam have decided to delay resumption of fishing activity by a day to celebrate Gangamma Jatara on June 2 (Tuesday).

During the meeting with the stakeholders, it was decided to enforce social distancing strictly with the help of the Police Department and regulate the sale at the fishing harbour.

The venue for sale of catch would be shifted to a new place near the office of the Fisheries Department. The auction would be allowed at two or three nearby areas, instead of Zero Jetty, to prevent congestion.

Ice shortage

About 20 ice plants are located in the city at the fishing harbour, Madhurawada, Gajuwaka, Autonagar, Gantyada, Gambheeram, Bhogapuram and other places.

The boats, depending on size and duration of voyage, need to carry 40 to 100 tonnes of ice, the price of which has been increased this time from ₹1,400 to ₹1,500 per tonne.

Visakha Ice Plant Owners’ Association president D.V.R. Raju said most of their workers from Odisha had left for their native places due to COVID-19.

“We need at least three days to make preparations. Due to lockdown, almost all the ice plants have been closed. We will try to supply limited quantity to allow fishermen to resume the new season as per the revised schedule,” he stated.

Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy said though they had not demanded advancing of fishing season, they would try to ensure social distancing as far as possible.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:34:12 PM |

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