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Income in ruins, fishers call for famine package in Kerala by K. A. Martin March 26,2020   |  Source: The Hindu

Selling the catch is a problem in the wake of restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Representatives of over seven lakh people directly depending on fishing activities in the State have called for a “fish famine package” and more clarity on what should be done at a time when the country is under a lockdown to fight the spread of COVID-19. Financially in dire straits, small-time traditional fishers venture out. But selling the catch is a problem because of the present restrictions. The Fisheries Department has told fishers to abandon the traditional auction system to prevent crowding at auction centres, says Antony Kurisinkal of the Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation.

The fishers have voluntarily given up the auction system already and shut fish landing hubs. Therefore, he suggested that the government frame a system, perhaps introduce a token system, to allow fishers to sell the catch by turn to avoid crowding at sale centres. “The police and local authorities must help. This is a must considering the importance of fish in everyday diet, especially in coastal areas, as maintained by the government,” he adds. Fishers’ unions have also expressed anguish over government reluctance to announce what they call a “fish famine package”

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