Ban lifted, but fishers remain on the shore

Exotic species such as squids, prawns and sardines are exported to Europe and other countries. Sardines have good market in Kerala.

Published: 02nd June 2020 12:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2020 12:23 AM   |  A+A-


Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM: The annual ban on fishing ended on May 31. But mechanized boat fishers across
Nagapattinam district refrained from going to the sea because of no export opportunities due to lockdown -- globally and also within the country.

Exotic species such as squids, prawns and sardines are exported to Europe and other countries. Sardines have good market in Kerala. However, with many countries under lockdown, the export business is bleak.

“There is no point in going to the sea when we do not have exporting options. If we fish, we cannot sell our catch. If we cannot sell our catch, it is a loss our workforce, fuel, ice and other investments,”said A Kumar, a fisher-representative from Nambiar Nagar.

Mechanised boats in harbours such as Nagapattinam, Pazhaiyar, Poompuhar and landing centres such as Nambiar Nagar, Thirumullaivasal, Chandirapadi, Tharangambadi did not venture out.

Fishers requested the government to ease interstate transport. “The government should at least allow us to export to other states,” said K Arutchezhiyan, fisher-representative from Pazhaiyar. Joint director of fisheries department R Amal Xavier said, “Some of the exporters said that they already have 300 tonnes of items and are unable to export to foreign countries and hence they do not want to get from us. Release of lockdown at global level only can untangle the current situation,” adding that fish trucks are allowed to come from Kerala.

Similarly, around 270 fishers in Karaikal district in Puducherry Union Territory too did not go into the sea. They wanted transportation restriction lifted between TN and Puducherry. However, fishers from Pazhaiyar ventured into the sea in around 30 steel boats. They took their passes and went to the sea on the contrary to the unanimous resolution made by Nagai and Karai fishers.



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