Kendrapara, May 7 (LocalWire): Dry fish trade (locally called “sukhua”) has taken a severe hit during the lockdown.
“We prepared dry fish two months back in Kharinashi village. Now we are struggling to supply dry fish to Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and other North-Eastern states due to the lockdown,” said Samarendra Mandal, a dry fish maker of Kharinashi.
Lockdown continues to hurt the livelihoods of dry fish makers of the seaside fishing villages of Kharinashi, Batighar, Kajalapatia, Pitaspatha, Kansarabadadandua, Petachela, Jamboo, Ramanagar and others in Kendrapara.
In order to conserve fish stock at sea during the breeding period, the fisheries department imposes restrictions on fishing through mechanized vessels from 15th April to 14th June in the state, every year.
During the two months-long “Fishing Holiday”, large numbers of fish workers prepare dry fish to eke out their livelihoods.
“We supply dry fish to Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland and other North-Eastern states. Dry fish businessmen generate revenues of nearly Rs 5 crores per annum by preparing 25,000 tonnes of dry fish.
The authorities should allow us to supply dry fish to other states,” said Bikram Behera, a dry fish trader of Kendrapara.
Manas Ranjan Sahoo, the Additional Director of Fisheries (Marine) department, said “Many dry fish makers have stocked dry fish in their units.
We hope after the end of the lockdown period, the dry fish traders will easily supply their products to other areas”.