Frequent power cuts, poor storage facilities, lack of navigation equipment hits fishing in Vishakapatnam
Frequent power cuts with poor storage facilities and lack of navigation equipment has hit fishing in Vishakapatnam, where fishermen continue to suffer even though the state government has lifted the 47-day ban.
Reportedly, a ban, imposed annually since 2006, was forced for two months in the entire state's coast in order to let the fishermen celebrate the fishing festival to seek the blessings of water goddess for their safely and a good catch during the next season.
Vishakapatnam has 15 ice plants on which the fishing boats depend to meet their requirements. Ice is needed for the fishermen to store their catch.
The ice plants have a production capacity ranging from 30 to 90 tonnes per day. The price per tonne has been raised to Rs.1300 from last season's Rs.1200.
Boat owners said on Saturday that most of the fishing vessels were anchored at the coast due to lack of storage facilities caused by scarcity of ice, which is mainly because of frequent power cuts.
"Here, there are nearly 670 boats. For the last two years, we were informed of two-month ban. Elections were held and the ban was reduced to 47 days. The power cut is the main problem. Due to power cuts, there is shortage of ice," said Ganesh, a distressed boat owner.
Several boat owners, who lined up at ice plants to try their luck, had to return.
The number of fishing boats setting for the sea was about 50 percent, which has come down to 30 percent due to the shortage of ice.
Not only ice shortage, but also shortage of navigation equipment provided at subsidized rates are some of the major problems faced by the fishermen and causes delay in fishing.
President of Vishaka Dolphin Boat Owners Association, Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, said the fishermen were yet to get their required equipment.
"The state government is supposed to give us navigation equipment . Last year, the budget was 175 million. It includes GPS, fish finder, VHF set, life float and life jacket- these are navigation equipments. The state government was ready to provide all this for 75 percent. But it has not come yet. They didn't give it last year and have not given it this year even though fishing will start soon. Had they given them to us earlier, it would have helped us," said Murthy.
(Posted on 01-06-2014)