Udupi: August 1, 2015: The Malpe harbor is all set for the robust activities as the fishing ban ended in the Udupi district. The fishermen had stayed away from the sea for around 45 days.
Speaking to media personals, Malpe Fishermen Association President Heeriyanna Keediyur compared fishing with gambling. "The fishermen kick-start their business with new hopes as it is always the tryst with the fortune for them. One cannot exactly predict the trade as the fishing is associated with nature. There are many numbers of practical problems," he said.
Keediyur said that the government’s decision to credit the diesel tax exemption to the bank accounts of would lead to problems to a large extent. "A single boat is owned by many partners and the question is who will receive the amount that is deducted for the diesel. The government should deduct the amount at the delivery point. There are nearly 50,000 people directly dependent on the trade," he added.
Fisherman Sathish Kodavur who is into speed boat business said that 10-12 days travel consumes nearly 7,000 litres of diesel and the fish catch should fetch at least Rs five lakh to cover all the expenses in the single trip. The speed boat engine has the capacity of 350-495 HP. There are nearly 10 such boats in Malpe and when it comes to all over the coastal belt, the number of boats exceed 400.
"The speed boats do not get sufficient fish in these areas and we have to cross the state borders. There comes another problem that is of border conflict between the fishermen of the neighboring States. However, we have to struggle with those men to manage the business. There would be clashes and we surmount all these challenges to sustain our business," he added.
The speed boats are manned by7-8 men in comparison with Purse Seine boats where in 35- 40 men are involved in the fishing. The average fish catch is 1.43 metric tons every year with the land value of 1,200 crore, according to the district Fisheries department.
The other problem with speed boats is that they should also encounter the stiff opposition from the 370 HP motor boats and Purse Siene boats fishermen who claim that these speed boats snatch their livelihood source. They claim that the speed boats go into in Depth Sea fishing wherein the small fish also fell prey into the net, there by leaving the sea bed empty for 370HP motorboats and Purse Seine boats.
Nagesh Karkera, who is in the 370HPfishing boat, said a single trip consumes 4.5 litre of diesel and at least the profit margin should be at least Rs four lakh to meet the expenses. "We go for 10-11 days fishing," he said and added that the government has restricted the horse power of the boat engine to 280 HP. It should be followed and the boats above the minimum limits should not be allowed, he added.
Gurudas Bangera told that the Purse Seine boats need 400 litre of diesel and the boats are into business every day. Last year, there was no business as six months were spent by boats anchoring at the harbor. The business lasts for three months. He added that sometimes there would be Rs two lakh business per month and the diesel expense would cross Rs four lakh. There are nearly 100 boats, of which 10 may be running under profit, he added.