KERALA

Fisheries sector one of worst-hit

The fisheries sector is one of the hardest hit by the currency crunch triggered by the demonetization of high denomination notes on Tuesday.

“Business is down more than 50 per cent,” said sources in the State-run fisheries cooperative Matsyafed on Sunday. They said retail fish business totally stopped on Wednesday as people were unable to bring change. “Now, the Rs.2,000 currency notes are freely available but finding change is difficult,” sources added.

A fish broker in Munambam, one of the biggest fish landing centres near Kochi, said fishermen had not been receiving full payment over the last four days. He said the situation was confusing as fishermen were unable to bargain with retailers, who too were hard put to find change.

A boat operator said fishing expeditions had been restricted since Thursday when the full impact of the demonetization began to be felt.

The small fishermen are affected even more harshly as they depend mostly on day-to-day payments for their catch.

Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikyavedi said fishermen and brokers had reached a consensus on use of currency notes though the fishermen did not venture out on Wednesday owing to uncertainty over payments. The entire sector had been brought to a halt, he said.

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