Mangaluru: After two months of fishing ban, and also after calling off their protest against Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) imposed by the government, the fishermen are back into their fishing venture. Fishermen using mechanised vessels (trawlers and purse-seine) have already left the dock and will be back within few days after a big catch.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Nithin Kumar-President of Mangaluru Trawl Boat Fishermen Association said, ” We can’t make our members wait till we get a answer from the government officials. We will wait for a week or so to get the reaction from the government to our demands, including our opposition to direct benefit transfer (DBT) of subsidy, before chalking out further course of action. In the meantime we have decided to get back into our fishing business and earn some income”.
About 170 vessels from Bunder Dock have already left during the last two days, fully prepared and loaded with diesel and ice. Fishermen also faced shortage of ice, but they have to manage with whatever they got. Once they get into deep sea fishing it takes at least a week to return to the shores, it is learnt. While the primary grouse is against DBT of subsidy, which hitherto was being reflected in subsidised rates of diesel at the rate of 300 litres per day per vessel, fishermen also have been demanding increase in the daily quota to 600 litres, abolition of the one ration card, one vessel rule and many more.
The strike was called off as it would affect lakhs of people depending upon fishing, but also several ancillary industries like ice plants, fish processing plants etc. Sources reveal that Fishermen from Mangaluru and Malpe would hold a joint meeting within a week to decide further action. The fishermen are not happy that Minister for Fisheries, K. Abhayachandra Jain, who hails from Dakshina Kannada, did not visit them either at Mangaluru or Malpe to get a first hand information.
So until the fishermen return back with their catch, fish lovers have to shell out some big bucks on some of the fish that is available now-like Sardines, mackerels, Prawns, Pomfret, squid etc