MANGALURU: EVEN though the monsoon is about half-way through with just 50 per cent of the expected rain being received so far, preparations have started here for mechanised fishing, which will start officially on August 1. The 61-day ban on mechanised fishing had come into force on June 1, and will be in force till July 31.
According to statistics from the Meteorological Department, the coastal districts got average annual rainfall of 3,912 mm till July 25. The average rainfall in the coastal area has varied between 1,912 mm to 1,958 mm which means much of the rainfall is still due.
Officially, monsoons will hit a low ebb only by the end of August, or latest by the first fortnight of September, as per the monsoon calendar for the coast. The fishermen are raring to start fishing after a hiatus of 61 days since July 1.
Fishermen are apprehensive that the sea will be rough for the first fifteen days of the new fishing season in 2016-17. In the earlier seasons, the monsoon bans were between June 15 to August 15, but this year, since the government imposed a uniform ban on monsoon fishing in all the maritime states like Gujarat, Maharashstra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, the dates have been readjusted.
“This is a very vexing situation;the fishermen would like to go into the sea, but according to the conditions prevailing in the sea, the storms are yet to come. We do not know how the fishermen will respond to it. There are already fishermen who have invested crores in new equipment, and would like to start fishing from July 31 itself. The Meteorological Department should issue an advisory for the coast, specifying if it is safe to venture into the sea on August 1, even if the ban is over,” Shobendra Sasihitlu, who is a fishermen cooperative leader, told Express.
Director of Fisheries Veerappa Gowda says, “even if the monsoon ban ends, fishermen will be given daily updates on the weather and the conditions prevailing in the sea.