Kerala

Merchants’ union not to stop fish sale Statewide

The All Kerala Fish Merchants’ and Commission Agents’ Association has said that it is withdrawing an earlier decision not to sell fish in the State till August 2 so as to contain the spread of COVID-19.The Ernakulam district president of the association A.R. Bijukumar said the decision was withdrawn after talks with fishers’ unions across Kerala, who said that they would be in serious financial trouble if fish sales were stopped in the entire State.

The State government had issued a set of instructions to the community on fishing expeditions as well as sales. The auction system was stopped in May so as to prevent gatherings of people at fishing harbours and landing centres. However, over the past one month, fishers have been using the online system as well as an informal fixing of prices ahead of landing of boats to sell their catch.

‘Spread not uniform’

P.V. Jayan, a representative of traditional fishermen, said that though lockdown had been imposed on a large stretch of coast, in other areas, fishing activities had not been curtailed. The coast of Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, and Ernakulam was facing severe spread of COVID-19. However, coastal regions in the northern districts, as well as parts of Ernakulam, had been relatively disease-free and in these areas fishing should be allowed, said Mr. Jayan.

Markets closed

While local fishermen were not being allowed to sell their catch in some areas, fish from other States was being sold without hindrance. Arrival of lorries from other States without proper testing of their drivers posed a health threat, he said. Mr. Bijukumar said fish merchants had decided not to sell consignments from other States to prevent spread of COVID-19. Ernakulam district’s major markets like Champakkara and Varappuzha have been closed down to slow down the disease transmission.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 2:36:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/merchants-union-not-to-stop-fish-sale-statewide/article32206995.ece

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