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West Bengal: Pricey diesel extends Bengal’s wait for Hilsa by Subhendu Maiti July 01,2020   |  Source: The Statesman

With regular hike in diesel prices during the past three weeks and economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19 pandemic have badly hit fishermen to ply trawlers to catch Bengali’s most coveted Hilsa fish in the sea. Aggrieved with the dual crisis most of the fishermen at Kakdwip, Namkhana, Raidighi, Frezerganj and Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas are sitting idle along with their thousands of unused trawlers at this time of high season for catching Hilsa. And this has kept the Bengali fish lovers away from the Hilsa that costs minimum Rs 1,000 per kg.

On 14 June, around 3000 fishermen of Sundarvans area along with their trawlers had gone to deep sea to catch fish but most of them had come back because of the inclement weather. “They fishermen got frustrated and came back with small quantity of Hilsa. Each trawler carries around 15 fishermen and it costs around two and a half lakh rupees for a week-long trip to the sea. The charge includes costs of diesel, meals for the fishermen and huge quantity of ice required to preserve the hilsa,” said an owner of a trawler at Kakdwip. “Diesel price hike has aggravated the situation. Most of the trawlers are lying used and trawler owners are unwilling to operate their vehicle in the deep sea because of nonavailability of Hilsa

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