Panaji : For Goans, fish-curry rice has always been their staple diet. In the recent past, shortage of fish in the market has sent the prices skyrocketing, taking the fish out from the curry of many. In a move which has not gone down well among the trawler owners, the State is now contemplating to ban export of fish in order to bring down the prices.
“Fish should be available to the locals at affordable prices. Unfortunately, the locals are not only deprived of ample fish but also variety. Hence, we are planning to put a ban on export of fish,” said Vinod Palyekar, Fisheries Minister.
The Fisheries Minister had recently stated that the State Government would cut down on subsidy given to trawlers because Goans were not getting fish at reasonable rates despite Rs 108 crore worth subsidies were being given to fishermen and trawler owners.
Reacting strongly against this move by the State, the Goa Fishing Boat Owners Association (GFBOA) urged the Minister to first understand the ground reality before putting the onus on their community for the price rise.
“What the fishermen have been getting from the State is not subsidy but VAT reimbursement. And that too because it is only industry where 90 per cent people are Goans”, opined Simon Pereira, secretary, GFBOA. Blaming the government for bad infrastructure, Pereira further stated that lack of proper jetties and cold storage facilities have made their day to day tasks more difficult. He urged the Minister to conduct meeting with all-Goa mechanised trawler owners before taking any drastic measures.