Deep sea fishing not to resume from August 1

Fishermen in Mangaluru will resume deep sea fishing tentatively from September 1. If the spread of COVID-19 does not come under control by then, it might be further delayed.

A meeting of fishermen representatives here on Wednesday decided not to resume the deep sea fishing from August 1 after the 47-day fishing holiday comes to an end by this month end. It is in view of issues relating to COVID-19.

Nitin Kumar, president, Mangaluru Trawl Boat Owners’ Association and former chairman of Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation (KFDC), said that Mangaluru had about 1,200 boats involved in deep sea fishing. About 75% workers in them are from outside Karnataka. They are mainly from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand. In the absence of train and inter-State bus facilities they are not in a position to return. Even if they return, they will have to undergo 14 days’ home quarantine.

Mr. Kumar said that the issues relating to transporting the marine catch are yet to be addressed. The transporters have said that the factories and exporters have not yet assured them of resuming the processing. Unless the chain from fishing to processing is re-established it would be difficult to resume fishing.

He said that the fishermen in Mangaluru will meet again next month to take up certain issues with the district administration before resuming fishing from September 1. They include home quarantine for workers from outside Karnataka and maintaining social distance at the fisheries harbour.

Mr. Kumar said that out of around 1,200 boats, about 900 are trawl boats each of which had about eight to 10 fishermen. Those boats went deep in the sea spending about 10 to 11 days in fishing.

Representatives of Karnataka Purse Seine Boat Owners’ Association, Raw and Dry Fish Merchants’ Associations, and Fish Buyers’ Association took part in Wednesday’s meeting.

This year the State government reduced the deep sea fishing ban period along coastal Karnataka from the earlier 61 days to 47 days effective from June 15. It is in view of hardship faced by fishermen due to the lockdown and COVID-19 situation.

Usually, the fishing ban is scheduled from June 1 to July 31. The main objective of banning deep sea fishing during June and July is to protect fish wealth as commercially important species breed during this period. It is to prevent juvenile fishing and excessive fishing.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:40:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/deep-sea-fishing-not-to-resume-from-august-1/article32221235.ece

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