RAJAHMUNDRY: Fishermen in the district were worried about their livelihood as the government has announced a fishing holiday for a period of 47 days from April 15 to May 31. Because of the fishing holiday, about 10,000 fishermen families’ in the district would be forced to stay back in their houses and make alternative arrangements to feed their families during the 45-day holiday. Because of the holiday, the prices of fish and other marine products would go up.
The fishermen go for fishing into the sea every day on 1,500 motor boats, 600 mechanised boats and 200 fibre boats. They come back with a catch worth Rs 15 lakh every day. Because of the holiday, the fishermen would stand to lose about Rs 7 crore worth business.
As per rules the state government would provide 31 kg of rice to each fisherman family during the holiday period, which is not sufficient.
Tamil Nadu government pays Rs 4,000 per month to each family and in Yanam, Puducherry government has also enhanced its monthly amount to Rs 4,000 from Rs 2,000 from this year.
M Subba Raju, a fisherman, said the fishing holiday is a curse to the fishermen community.
Mechanised Boats Welfare Association district president B Ranga Rao demanded the government to increase the rice quota. Earlier, the government provided 90 kg of rice to each family and now it has been reduced to 31 kg.
He also demanded the government to pay monthly allowance on par with Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments.
Speaking to Express fisheries department deputy director VV Krishnamurthi said the government issued a GO on April 10 regarding the ban on fishing in the state. As per rules, the government will supply only 31 kg of rice to each family every month. The fishermen were demanding a monthly allowance of Rs 3,000 like in other states, he added. Fishing holiday is a boon to the fishing community and the marine wealth will be increased which helps the fishermen in the coming days, he said.