KOCHI: The mood was sombre on Friday at fishing harbours in Ernakulam, which were buzzing with activity on Wednesday night. Most of the mechanised fishing boats that ventured into sea after the end of the 52-day-long trawl ban are yet to return. But the message conveyed by the men in a few boats that returned to the harbours at Kalamukku and Munambam was not encouraging. The sea is empty.
The fish schools have migrated to deep sea. The faces of auctioneers, who were eagerly waiting for the return of the boats, turned gloomy as fishermen unloaded the catch. It’s a distressing time for fisherfolk.
“Only four boats have returned to Munambam harbour till Friday evening. One of the boats got a decent catch of threadfin bream, which fetched Rs 5 lakh. Though it was not a bumper catch, the boatmen got a good price. Another boat got squid. The other two boats didn’t get much fish. We are waiting for the other boats to return. They have proceeded to deep sea in search of fish schools,” said Munambam Boat Owners’ Coordination Committee chairman P P Gireesh.
“A few fishing boats in Kollam district got catch worth Rs 1 lakh. The reports from other harbours are not so encouraging. We have to wait for two more days to understand the situation. Normally, mechanised boats get the maximum catch during the first expedition after the trawling ban.
Minister promises steps to improve fishermen’s livelihood
Kochi: The government has initiated a slew of measures to end exploitation of fishermen by middlemen and improve their livelihood, said Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma. The government has imposed restrictions to stop over-exploitation of marine resources, she said while releasing the Fishermen Family Register at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kochi on Friday.
After Ockhi disaster, the government has initiated steps to ensure safe fishing. The family details of fishermen are collected to help rescue operation in hour of crisis. As many as 2,21,789 fishermen have registered under the Fishermen Family Register and 1,27,965 among them are in the marine fishing sector. The government will distribute 40,000 life jackets to fishermen.