VISAKHAPATNAM: It’s still sometime left for the annual fishing ban period to begin and the coast of the prot city carries a sombre look with hoards of mechanised boat remained anchored to the shore. Their long-wait for the diesel subsidy promised by the governmentis still not over. The sluggish business and losses in fishing activity in the last couple of months have forced almost 80 per cent of the mechanised boat owners to keep it to the shore.
Fishermen say profits hardly ever matched their investment. “We used to get a little over what we would spend. But, the situation has been horrible since the last three months. On our investment of around Rs 1 lakh, we are not even able to make than Rs 60,000. The catch size has also reduced of late owing to soaring temperature,” said PC Appa Rao, president of the Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Operators Association. The fishermen had been facing losses for the last two months. “It happened last year too. We are also worried about the fishing ban to be imposed from from April 15,” he said.For the last 10 months, the fishermen have been fighting for the release of the diesel subsidy which has accumulated to more than Rs 10 crore. “We have been doing the rounds of almost all the offices of government, including the Fisheries department. But, the subsidy is yet to be released. We are much worried because of the fishing ban on the threshhold. We do not have any other livelihood options,” said Appa Rao.