With rain clouds hovering over horizon and forecast of a normal monsoon, fishermen undertook maiden voyage after observing 61-day conservation period from early hours of Thursday exuding confidence of netting a good catch.
Enforcement of conservation period by all the motorised boats, which used to be partial during earlier years, has made the owners of mechanised boats and beach landing crafts more enthusiastic this time.
In fact, most the boat owners procured ice one week in advance to avoid last-minute rush. Still those who wanted to buy it had to face some problem due to sudden surge in demand.
Of 700 mechanised boats and 250 beach landing crafts, about 60% ventured into sea on day-1. “Due to total enforcement of ban period, we are expecting a pretty good catch this season,” Joint Director of Fisheries Dr. P. Shankar Rao told The Hindu .
He said they had also disbursed cash compensation of ₹3.41 crore out of sanctioned amount ₹5.47 crore to 8,531 workers through bank transfer before commencement of fishing season.
The conservation period, which has been increased from 47 to 61 days for entire East Coast, fishermen say, will brighten the prospects of a good catch.
“Though the operational cost has gone up, we are hopeful of doing better than last year this time. Our boats have gone northwards heading for Gopalpur and Paradip,” Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy said.
“We are very happy this time that Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have cooperated in making the ban enforced fully,” AP Mechanised Boat Owners’ Welfare Association president P.Ch. Appa Rao said.