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Sea-fishing resumes after the lifting of prohibition

Sea fishing activity resumed from June 16 after the state government lifted the prohibition of marine fishing operation.

The annual fishing ban had been enforced for the larger interest of those living on fishing activity. The restriction on fishing is imposed every year to allow breeding and multiplication of fish population. Thus it is aimed at greater interest for the fishermen as it leads to the larger yield. It remained in force from 15 April till 15 June. The fishermen and trawl operators had been asked not to undertake fishing voyage. Prohibition on sea fishing was promulgated under Odisha marine fishing regulation act, said Deputy Director (marine fisheries) Pratap Ranajn Rout.

It’s an admitted fact that fishermen and stakeholders of sea-fishing were be on the losing side due to the ban. But it would reap long-term benefit for them in form of higher catch. Odisha is not the only state where prohibition had been imposed. Similar restriction on sea-fishing was also in force in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he added.

Those living on fishing and ancillary activities have been badly hit by the ban. Sea fishing has suffered major interruption this year. Frequent formation of low pressure and resultant cyclonic weather has posed major impediments as fishermen and crews were forced to suspend the fishing operation following nature induced causes, said representative of local operators’ union, Sumant Biswal.

Over 1000 mechanized boats besides trawls and medium and small size motorized boats which operate from Paradip fisheries harbour were left idle. It had become tough time for fishermen, fish workers and vendors to support their families while it hardly made difference to the wealthy trawl owners. Bereft of alternative income sources, the fish workers and vendors were left to fend themselves, remarked, seagoing fishermen union spokesman, Tushar Sardar.

Hundreds of fishermen, for the past 60 days kept themselves busy repairing their equipment and fishing boats in preparation for the fishing season. Fishermen from Andhra Pradesh who took   vacation during the ban period, have already returned to the seaside fishing villages of the state  to join in the fishing  work. The fishing harbour at Paradip is now buzzing with activities. Fish merchants from West Bengal have already arrived in Paradip to purchase fish from the fishermen . similarly  , seafood exporters of the state  opened their offices and fish collection centers to purchase fish and prawn from the fishermen ‘, said Sumanta Biswal the president of trawler owners’ association of Paradip.

The  state government had also imposed 'Fishing Ban' from 1st November to 31st May throughout the twenty km off the seacoast of the coastal district of Kendrapara from Gahiramatha to Hukitola covering 35 km to protect the annual migration of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles to the Odisha  coast for mating and laying eggs.

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