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Kerala: Fishers say it’s one of the worst seasons July 15,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

The proposed Sagarmala projects, relaxation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms, and the latest hike in diesel price are attempts to oust fishers from their natural habitat, say unions which have called on the government to step in to help them overcome one of the worst fishing seasons in recent memory.

The diesel price hike is so devastating that “venturing out for fishing has become a big liability, for both traditional and mechanised fishing operations,” said V.D. Majeendran of the Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation. The petrol price has gone up to Rs 74.80 a litre and diesel price to Rs 70.31 a litre in Kochi, going up by Rs 2.50 and Rs 2.46 respectively from the first week of July. There has been frequent increase in the price of both kerosene and diesel in recent years and fishers have been calling for subsidy that had been taken off the government agenda, Mr. Majeendran said.

Distance water fishing and long-liners involve about 5,000 litres of diesel per fishing venture and it adds up to an extra Rs 12,500 per trip, said Charles George of the Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi. A trawler boat requires about 5,000 litres while purseiners require between 300 and 400 litres of diesel.

The diesel price hike has come at a time when fish landings have drastically

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