Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SP)
Udupi, May 7: The fishing industry, which is already reeling under fish famine, natural calamity and diesel price hike, is battered further because of the coronavirus infection.
On account of corona-related worries, fishing had been stalled last year for five to six months. Now, because of the second wave of coronavirus infection, the fishermen are facing further problems.
The curfew imposed by the government to bring coronavirus under control has not created any major problem for those engaged in fishing. But the problem arises in buying the fish and selling the fish so caught. The government has provided for sale of eatables from 6 to 10 am which also covers fishes. But this time is insufficient for those who bring fish to the market and sell it. Fish vendors have to go to the fishing port, buy fish in auction and bring the fish to the market. By then it usually is 10 am already. As a result, the fish vendors are facing huge losses and thousands of people who depend on fish vending to run their families are deprived of their daily income.
This time, fish catches have already been very low, as 60 percent of boats in Malpe port do not go out for fishing. Because of fish famine, all the purse seine boats cut short their fishing activity in February in advance and moored the boats at the port. 70 percent smaller boats, and 90 percent trawler boats have also stopped plying. Because of rising diesel cost, most of the deep sea boats suffered losses and are anchored. The country boats conducting fishing near the seashore do not get fishes, said Malpe Fishermen's Association president, Krishna S Suvarna.
Baby H Salian, president, Udupi taluk Women's Fresh fish vendors association, says that the women who sell fish for a living are facing problems because of curfew. She has requested for extending the time permitted at least to 12 noon from the current 10 am.