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Maharabstra: Business hit by pandemic: Fishermen count losses as funds crunch keeps boats grounded by Sanjana Bhalerao February 23,2021   |  Source: The Indian Express

Versova jetty wears a deserted look on a Friday morning. Last year at this time, it was bustling with trawlers unloading the day’s catch and trucks filled with the silver crops hauling to local markets and seafood exporters. Now, even after Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, around 300 fishing boats and trawlers remain grounded. Local fishers said since January, only a few small boats are venturing into the sea. It was a similar scene at Bhaucha Dhakka, or New Ferry Wharf, and Worli Koliwada, they added. Following losses sustained owing to the pandemic-induced lockdown, the fishing-boat trawlers now have new challenges – high fuel prices and pending export payments. New Covid-19 safety rules in China which accounts for 25 per cent of seafood exports from India; delayed shipments and plummeting fish prices forced over half of the nearly 4,000 trawlers at the fishing docks across Maharashtra to remain grounded since January.

With over 300 trawlers, with 3,000 active fishermen and 5,000 workers employed in ancillary activities, Versova used to have an annual turnover of approximately Rs 400 crore, but the fishermen are now counting their losses. Around 400 boats, of the 1,000 registered at New Ferry Wharf, have gone to the sea, said fishermen at the Wharf. With export


© 2021 The Indian Express [P] Ltd.

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