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Tamil Nadu: Deep sea fishermen hesitant to enter waters by M K Ananth July 31,2020   |  Source: The Times of India

The annual 61-day fishing ban on the west coast, which is usually in effect between June 1 and July 31, has been reduced to 47 days. The trawling ban that started on June 15 will end on July 31 this year as the fishermen have not been fishing from mid-March as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Though they have not been to the sea for more than 135 days, most of them are not likely to resume fishing on August 1.

Of the four fishing harbours in Kanyakumari district, Thengapattanam, Colachel and Muttom are in the west coast and there are 1,020 mechanised boats in these harbours. It includes 230 trawlers (including a few unregistered) and 790 deep sea fishing boats. Though trawlers are ready for fishing, deep sea fishing boat owners that directly employ more than 8,000 people are hesitant and many would not go due to various factors.

“Most important of all is marketing our catch after spending 20 to 40 days at the sea. In March, when Kochi fishing harbor was closed, hundreds of boats came to Thengapattanam. This had resulted in several tonnes of fish going waste and we faced loss to the tune of several crores of rupees,” said P Dickson, a boat owner. Kerala has strictly enforced restrictions to bring Covid-19 spread under control. Of the 790 deep sea boats, as many as 478

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