‘Fishing holiday’ draws to a close

Some fishermen haven’t received compensation due to not being in ‘eligible’ list

June 15, 2017 01:25 am | Updated 01:25 am IST - ONGOLE

Raring to go:  A fisherman checks the condition of his mechanised boat at Kothapatnam, near Ongole.

Raring to go: A fisherman checks the condition of his mechanised boat at Kothapatnam, near Ongole.

Fishing operations using mechanised and motorised boats in the Bay of Bengal off the Prakasam coast will resume on Wednesday midnight as the 61-day ‘fishing holiday’ comes to a close.

The ban period was increased from 47 days to 61 days, keeping with the Centre's directive for better conservation of fish and other marine resources during the breeding season.

As many as 45 mechanised and 1,900 motorised boats in the more than 100-km seacoast were lined up across the 10 coastal mandals on Wednesday.

Hopeful of good catch

“We are hopeful of a good catch this year in view of the extended ban period,” a group of fishermen from Kothapatnam told The Hindu .

The provision of ex gratia during the period continues to be a thorny issue as a good number of nuclear families had been left-out, as they were in the previous years.

Funds earmarked

There are about 20,000 sea-faring fishermen from the 10 coastal mandals.

However, only 6,900 with ration and Aadhaar cards were found eligible for payment of compensation online.

Although those who received compensation were happy over the payment in cash instead of rice as has happened before, they were also upset over the delay in the crediting of compensation.

Fisheries Joint Director A. Balaram said ₹2.90 crore was earmarked for compensation at the rate of ₹ 4,000 to each of the 6,900 fishermen. Another 2,000 families would be provided with compensation in the next phase, he said.

The amount should be increased to at least ₹10,000, said Kothapatnam Palepalem former sarpanch Naidu Prabhu Prakash.

A survey should be conducted immediately to identify all the families which had split after marriage of sons and daughters, demanded a fisherman Ch. Baskar, adding fresh ration cards should be given to all the nuclear families.

He said fisherwomen involved in marketing should also be paid compensation apart from scholarship for their children.

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