Paradip, August 26 (LocalWire): Prices of hilsa have gone up as catch has dipped by 90 percent ever since fishermen have ceased going out to the sea due to the threat of COVID-19.
Nearly 700 trawlers used to go to sea to catch fish, but now, due to shortage of crew members and the COVID threat, many trawlers are not at sea.
Fishermen who returned to other districts and states due to COVID-19 have not yet returned to Paradip, causing a shortage of manpower.
Currently, only 150-180 trawlers are operating in the sea, causing acute shortage of fish in the market.
On the other hand, Paradip Municipality has banned the sale of mutton and chicken in Paradip for the last 10 days under the direction of Supreme Court, for which, the demand for fish is high among local people.
Fish trader Shanti Raj Sarakar informed, “Each trawler spends nearly Rs 30,000 but we catch fishes worth Rs 5000 to Rs 8000 so we are forced to sell Hilsa fish at the rate of Rs 200 to Rs 250 per kg in Paradip to compensate the losses,” he added.
The drop in the catch of fish has come as a major threat to the livelihood of these fishermen in the Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts.
Besides the fishermen, daily earnings of the weavers of fishing nets, traders, trading agents, ice factory owners has also waned.
Executive Officer of Paradip Municipality Duryodhan Patel has informed, “By the direction of Supreme Court, Paradip Municipality has banned the sale of mutton and chicken from 15th to 24th August 2020 for which the demand of fishes is high in the local market.
The ban has been lifted from today,” he added.