Mumbai: Maharashtra government is awaiting Centre's notification to announce compensation to fishermen affected due to lockdown. Aslam Shaikh, cabinet rank minister of fisheries, textile and port development and Mumbai’s guardian minister commented. "

As the fund reserved to provide subsidy on diesel and other products has been diverted due to coronavirus, we have asked the Centre to give compensation, especially to the fishing sector."

Fishermen who had ventured into the sea before the first lockdown was imposed faced several difficulties after their return.

"Though the state exported nearly 200 tonnes of fish, huge quantity of fish had to be disposed of due to the unavailability of cold storage. Therefore, the sector has incurred losses," said Shaikh. The minister also asserted that from April 12, normal fishing related activities will resume.

However, more focus will be given on exporting fish to different districts. Rajeev Jadhav, commissioner of state fisheries department said, "Currently, in compliance with police authorities, district collectors and municipal corporation commissioners, fishing activity in sea will be closely monitored."

In line with the rules applicable to vegetable markets, which are allowed to open for a designated period of time, fish market too will be allowed to be operated, Jadhav asserted.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Macchimar Kriti Samiti president Damodar Tandel said, "We have suggested the officials and minister to allow small fish markets across the city to remain open. While wholesale markets setup at Sassoon Dock, Bhaucha Dakka, Dadar Market, Crawford market, where there is a possibility of huge crowd, should be kept shut."

Besides this, Tandel said, vendors could be asked to sell fish in rotations like if 100 fish sellers are allowed in the morning, the other 100 should be allowed to do business in the evening. "Such measures can help 12,000 fish sellers to retain their livelihood, who are badly affected amid this pandemic," he explained.

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