Chennai: Fishermen of Tamil Nadu are planning to request the state government to allow them fishing from 15th May onwards and also to make arrangements for major fish landing centers for wholesalers to purchase the catch.
The South Indian Fisherman Welfare Association, President K. Bharathi, has stated that a telecon of fisherman association from the different districts was conducted on Friday, and they will be requesting the state government to allow them to go for sea from 15th May.
Due to the breeding season, the ban on fishing is normally imposed from 15th April to 15th May, but K. Bharathi said that since the fisherman is not using the close-knit nets, the fishing doesn’t impact the breeding. Also, many of the fish species breed during October to November, and the Government should announce the clear breeding season. Earlier, the ban period was only 45 days, and the Government paid Rs. 5000 as compensation for the loss incurred by the fisherman. Later the ban period was increased to 61 days with no corresponding hike in the compensation.
According to him, fishing ban coinciding with breeding season should be safeguarded; otherwise, the reproductive cycle of the fish will be interrupted with long term consequences.
Due to the ongoing lockdown, the livelihood of the Tamil Nadu fishermen has been severely affected as the Government has banned fishing.
Kasimedu harbor in Chennai has been closed by the Government as there was a huge crowd comprising of retailers, wholesalers, and the general public was huge, thereby increasing the risk of community spread of Coronavirus infection.
The Government needs to talk with the fishermen and work out ways so that there is no crowding at the fish landing center. The Government should not allow general people only the wholesalers and retailers and the landing centers. The general people can purchase fish from the local market.
According to K. Bharathi, currently, the fish being sold in markets of Chennai are being brought from Andhra Pradesh and other places while Tamil Nadu fisherman is not able to go to the sea.
According to him, the compensation being offered by the Government is not sufficient even for the workers.