Free Press Journal

Choppy weather hits fishing, cost of seafood likely to rise


Bhayandar : Seafood lovers may continue to cough up extra bucks for their favourite dishes. After sincerely adhering to the customary 60-day conservation period (annual fishing ban), fishermen  had started venturing into the Arabian Sea for the new fishing season since August 1. However, thanks to choppy weather conditions which is averse to sailing, hopes of netting a good catch has been dashed for the fishing community of Uttan near Bhayandar.

While most of the fishermen had to pre-maturely abort their operations mid-way and beat a hasty retreat to the shores empty handed, a few have braved the weather, hoping for favourable  conditions. A large  fleet of fishing boats have been anchored at the local harbours.

Already reeling under an acute financial crisis due to low catch, the fisher-folk have suffered losses as a major part of essential commodities, diesel and other supplies they took for a voyage has got wasted and that too in beginning of the season.

“As per it’s size and capacity of the boat, around eight to eighteen crew members including the khalasi’s (helpers) and tandel ( captain) set out on a fishing voyage of a boat which lasts for a week to ten days with expenses totaling at around Rs  1 lakh. Alike farmers, the government should compensate the fishermen,” said fishing community leader- Georgy Govind.

The quaint fishing villages including Uttan, Pali and Chowk  and Manori is home to over 750 fishing boats in the region.

Though the fishing ban was  officially lifted  from August 1 as per tradition, the fishing community considers Narali Purnima as an auspicious day to start fishing activates with prayers for a safe passage into the sea.

The 2-month ban is enforced because fish usually breed in the monsoon, and suspending fishing allows them to replenish the sea with what has been depleted over the rest of the year.

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