Kendrapara, June 1 (LocalWire): A large number of marine fishermen from the state ventured into the sea for fishing on Monday, after the end of the 46-day-long fishing ban (April 15 – May 31) during the fish breeding season.
The usual time period of the ban is from April 15 to June 14, however, this year the state government has revised the ban period for fishing within the territorial waters of Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the lockdown imposed since March 25th, many fishermen had stopped fishing, said Basant Dash, Joint Director, Marine Fisheries Department.
The monsoon trawling ban was introduced in 1998 by the government to help unhindered breeding of fish during the rainy season and hence maintain fish stocks in the ocean.
The monsoon season is the breeding season of nearly 300 species along the coast of Odisha, added the officer.
Hundreds of fishermen kept themselves busy during the ban by repairing their equipment and fishing boats in preparation for the fishing season.
Ahead of sailing, hectic activities such as loading of ice bars in boats to maintain the freshness of the catch were witnessed at the fishing harbours at Paradip, Kharinashi, Jamboo and other areas.
“Seafood exporters of the state opened their offices and fish collection centers to purchase fish and prawn from the fishermen,” said Arabinda Mandal, a marine fisherman from Kharinashi village.
Tusharkanta Sardar, the President of the district unit of the Odisha Traditional Fish Workers’ Union (OTFWU), said, “The 46-day long fishing ban during the breeding season has proved to be a great success.
The breeding period really helps us to catch big shrimps which fetch good prices. Many worshipped the sea before venturing into the sea for fishing,”
Fish prices, which were skyrocketing due to non-supply of adequate fish during the fishing ban in the state, are expected to become normal as fishermen have started venturing into sea from Monday.
The impact on fish prices would be felt in the local markets in a few days, said Saroj Behera fish seller of the Kendrapara fishing market.