MUMBAI: State fishermen are finding themselves at sea for lack of proper directions from the fisheries department on fishing-related activities in this extended phase of the lockdown, said Damodar Tandel, president of the Akhil Macchimar Kriti Samiti (fishermen's association).
"The notification dated April 13, permitting the carrying out of fishing activities, comprises two lines but no directions or dos and don'ts," Tandel informed. A detailed notification, with more clarity on selling, transporting catch across Maharashtra and venturing into the sea is awaited, he said.
Tandel pointed to the Raigad district collector's notification issued on April 9, giving guidelines to fishermen, which specifies that not more than four people are allowed on one fishing boat. Moreover, there should be strict adherence to precautionary measures such as compulsory wearing of masks by fishermen on the boat.
Only non-motorised boats and those operating on one or two cylinders may be used for fishing during the lockdown, the notification said. Comparing these two notifications, Tandel said the state of creating confusion among fishermen.
He insisted on a common notification for all districts to be issued in this critical situation. Meanwhile, Rajeev Jadhav, commissioner of the fisheries department, said, "In March, the Centre issued a detailed notification, with guidelines for transportation and sale of essential commodities.
Since fishing was not included in this, a revised notification was issued following a demand to this effect and fishing was also included in essential commodities. Therefore, fishing related activities must follow the same guidelines as those applicable to essential commodities."