PARADIP: The Fisheries Department finds it tough to implement the colour code for mechanised fishing boats with the boat operators opposing the move. The Coast Guard wanted boats operating in coastal States to follow the colour code as a national security measure.
The State Government implemented colour code for sea-bound fishing vessels as part of refurbishment of coastal security mechanism. Since the colour code was made mandatory, the owners of registered vessels not adhering to it will have to forfeit the licence.
All the fishermen and trawler owners were directed to paint their boats in red and black colours. As approved by the Fisheries Department, trawlers and mechanised boats would wear largely red look. While the cabin and hull will have red colour, top bottom portions would be black. Boat owners would bear the cost of colouring.
The Fisheries Department has set the deadline of September 28 for the process.
If the code is not implemented, different benefits and renewal of licence would be stopped, the Department directed.
But, the boat and trawler owners expressed their inability to follow the code. President of Orissa Marine Fish Producers Association (OMFPA) Sumant Kumar Biswal said since there is no dry dock facility in Paradip, they would face problem to implement the colour code. Nearly `50,000 would be required for painting the boats.
Biswal said as only 25 to 30 trawlers can be berthed at Paradip fishing harbour, it is very difficult for nearly 900 boat owners to paint their trawlers within two months, particularly during rainy season. “The boats will not dry during rainy season for which we have sought the intervention of Fisheries Department to extend the deadline,” he added.
Religious sentiments and colour preferences too prevent the fishermen from going ahead with process. A Telugu fisherman Appa Rao said, “Most of us have our own sentiments. The colour of a boat is decided according to the deities we worship. By changing the boat’s colour, we fear that the catch will come down.”
As per the Merchant Shipping Rules (Registration of Indian Ships), it is mandatory for shipping boats to have names written in English, Hindi and regional language but no steps have yet been taken to write the names of boats and its registration number in regional languages.
Additional Fishery Officer, Marine, Gyana Ranjan Samal said there is no strict instruction to paint the name of boat and its registration in regional language. Any violation of colour code would compel the Marine Police and Coast Guard to take action against them, he added.