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Odisha: Fall in catch worries fishermen June 18,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

After the ban on mechanised and motorised fishing was lifted on June 15, traditional fishermen of Rushikulya rookery on Odisha coast have alleged that their fish catch has reduced drastically. The fall in fish catch has become a major worry for these fishermen of Ganjam district coast. During the ban period, around 12,000 fishermen, living between Prayagi and Sunapur, used their traditional boats to catch fish. “Usually fishermen wait for the ban to end to get a good catch. But this year, for some reason the fish seem to have gone far away from the coast deep into the sea,” said Buguru Rajendra of Podampeta village.

In the past, fishermen used to travel about 8 km into the sea to get a good catch. “But this year, we have to travel more than 12 km, which is increasing the cost of fishing. And the catch is also not good,” said P. Simadri, president of the Ganjam district's Traditional Fish Workers’ Union. As going deep into the sea is not viable for traditional motorised boats, around 40% of fishermen of Rushikulya rookery and its adjoining areas are not venturing into the sea, he added.

No prized catch

Fishermen are also complaining that they are not getting high-value fish like tuna or bhekti, which is hurting their income. Earlier, they used to earn around

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