Mangaluru : Lots of Fish, but Lack of Ice! Power Cuts affecting Fishing Industry Severly

Mangaluru: Power cuts in the city has not only affected daily life of the residents and business owners, but also the fishing industry. Due to shortage of ice the fishermen have been selling fish at very low rate, since they can’t store them due to lack of ice supply. Ever since electricity supply companies resorted to unscheduled load-shedding to cope with the non-availability of power since a fortnight, ice and cold storage plants, the backbone of the fishing industry, have been hit hard. The direct impact has been on the fishing industry, which is witnessing dwindling fortunes.

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According to a boat owner, the fishing industry’s fortune hinges directly on the smooth functioning of ice plants. If ice plants fail, the industry too would. In fact, September and October are the ones where fishermen get abundant catch as marine life is abuzz soon after the monsoon. Though monsoon has been bleak this year, fish catch has been good. Exports too have been severely affected.

On the other hand, trawl boats, which stay on high seas for days together, too are facing the brunt of non-availability of ice. Boat operators fill about 18 tonnes of ice blocks before venturing into the sea to keep the catch fresh. Non-availability of sufficient ice has made such boats to wait for days at the port. Even if ice is available, it melts down quickly due to inferior quality. The Trawl association also runs a cooperative society that has an ice plant, but the situation has been pathetic.

It is learnt that ice plants require uninterrupted power supply for at least 20 hours for ice formation. Due to erratic load-shedding every few hours, whatever ice forms melts down and the process has to commence from the beginning after resumption of power supply. All the 260 plants in the coastal districts have been severely affected.

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