Tamil Nadu

Centre to examine fishermen’s plea on deep-sea fishing vessels

The unit cost of a deep-sea fishing vessel under the State-specific scheme has been fixed at ₹80 lakh. File photo  

The Centre will examine the request of fishermen of Rameswaram for increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels under a Tamil Nadu-specific scheme, according to K. Gopal, Principal Secretary (Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries) in the State government.

An assurance to this effect was provided during the recent visit of the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh, to Rameswaram.

Dr. Gopal disclosed this while replying to a question by The Hindu on whether the issue of hiking the unit cost was raised.

While the unit cost of a deep-sea fishing vessel under the State-specific scheme, also called the Palk Bay scheme, was fixed at ₹80 lakh, the unit cost under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), an all-India scheme aimed at focused and sustainable development of fisheries sector, had been determined at ₹1.2 crore.

One of the reasons cited for the poor response from the State’s fishermen to the former is the insufficient financial assistance envisaged which has, in turn, been governed by the low unit cost.

The Palk Bay scheme was launched in 2017 with a view to providing 2,000 vessels in three years to fishermen of the State and motivating them to abandon bottom trawling.

Another objective of the scheme is to “reduce fishing pressure” around the proximity of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) so that Tamil Nadu fishermen did not cross the IMBL and fish in Sri Lankan waters. Till about a month ago, 42 beneficiaries were handed over the vessels.

62 boats salvaged

As for the number of fishing boats that have been impounded by the Sri Lankan authorities, the Secretary said it was 12. In the last four years, 62 boats were salvaged.

On the status of 125 unsalvageable boats that had been proposed for auctioning in Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in the neighbouring country had indicated to the State Fisheries Department to explore the possibility of sending a team to the island for arriving at the present value of the boats, Dr. Gopal added.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 11:05:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-to-examine-fishermens-plea-on-deep-sea-fishing-vessels/article33663171.ece

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