THOOTHUKUDI : Revenue generation of fish trade has been adversely hit with fishermen staying away from the activity for almost a week, following poor circulation of the lower denomination notes. The Thoothukudi fishing harbour has 247 mechanised boats. The fish trade attracts business worth more than D10 crore every day. Over 15,000 families residing along the coastal hamlets depend on fishing for their living.
Usually, the catch is sold out in auctions conducted at a big hall. Traders from Kerala and large seafood companies procure a large part of the catch. The fish is also purchased by small traders from various parts of the state.
A significant number of domestic vendors buy a basket of fishes for selling. The fishing business fetches good revenue for the district administration.
Sources said that each mechanised boat needs an initial investment of at least D1.2 lakh. At least 10 to 15 fishermen step aboard a mechanised boat and venture into the deep seas for fishing. “Boat owners shell out a major portion for fuel, ice bars and labour charge,” the sources added.
With the 500 and 1000 rupees ceasing to be legal tender, fishing trade has come to a grinding halt in Thoothukudi, informed the sources. Dharmapichai, Director, Thoothukudi District Fishermen Cooperative Society told Express that the boat owners are wondering how to operate the boats the given poor availability of the lower denomination notes.
“We need the lower denomination to purchase fuel and ice bars,” he said. “The pause in operations has brought a loss of over D70 crore,” he added.Members of the Society alleged that the fisheries department was not taking adequate measure to run the business. Officials from the fisheries department did not respond when questioned about this.