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Kerala: Trawl ban: relief measures for fishers remain a distant dream June 11,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

Around 1,000 trawlers went ashore this weekend to lie idle for the next 52 days when the annual ban on trawling came into force on Sunday midnight. In Kozhikode district, hundreds of migrant labourers, mostly from West Bengal, will soon return to their native villages to find odd jobs to survive the lean season. For native fishers and allied workers, the ban opens a season of financial stress.

“What we are going to miss during this period is the daily allowance of Rs 500 plus a share of 40% of profit we get after each trip. The savings thus made do not last more than a week,” said T.P. Unni, a fisherman from Puthiyappa who works at the Beypore harbour. For him, a way to manage the crisis is pawning his wife’s gold ornaments. Though Kerala has an extensive coastal belt of 590 km and an estimated population of 8.55 lakh fishermen, an action plan or a package for crisis management during the trawl ban period is still a distant dream. When a few of them manage the situation with their humble savings or borrowed money, others go for odd jobs. For many, it is still a leap in the dark with no means of survival.

According to fishers at the Puthiyappa harbour, the sole aid they get from the government during the lean season is the free ration and a portion of the relief

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)