Udupi, July 16, 2015: Fisheries department has come up with special programmes to safeguard interests of fishermen who stake their lives which has a constant risk. With 1,600 registered mechanised boats and nearly 3,600 outboard boats, the task is huge.
The department is making efforts to introduce plans overlooking hurdles. Senior Assistant Director told media that the harbours in the district contributes to huge amount of profit turnover with nearly 1.43 metric tonnes of fish catch every year with the land value of Rs 1,200 crore. The trawlers contribute immensely to the turnover. He said the department was supporting post harvest technologies introduced in the form of ice plants and transportation of fishes in an insulated truck. These facilities have boosted the demand for fishes. He said there are 72 ice plants in the district. The insulated trucks which cost Rs 12 lakh each can be availed at subsidised rate.
The fish meal industries are also supported by the government. The major raw material for the fish meal industry is oil sardines. The excess catch and non availability of ice would support the productivity of fish meal industries. However, many number of ice plant have helped to maintain the quality of the fish catch.
The deep sea fishermen immediately harvest the fish catch and store it in ice, he added. The officer said the major problem of the fishing trade besides uncertainty over the financial transaction, the district lacks proper anchoring places for the many number of fishing boats that are available.
The harbours at Hejmadi, Hangarukatte, Gangolli and Kodikanyana encounter the drudging and siltation problems. It is recurring phenomenon, which needs huge sum of money.
The breakwaters should be constructed. The government has at present allotted Rs 100 crore to construct breakwater at Gangolli. As against the earlier of 75:25 fund sharing ratio between the Center and State, now it is 60:40, wherein the State has to bear 60 percent of the total expenses.
He said for the traditional fishermen, kerosene is offered at subsidised rate depending upon the quota allotted to the district. The officer said the hygienic fish markets are built at Uppunda, Katpadi, Adi Udupi and Padubidri. The department offers cent per cent grants and the maintenance responsibility would be by the local bodies. The hygienic fish markets at Udupi and Tekatte is underway. He said nearly 79,000 fishermen are associated with various cooperative societies.
There are 65 cooperative societies in the district, of which 15 are run by women. He said the biometric identity is ensured to majority number of fishermen. Though 90 per cent of the sea bound workers are from outside district and State.
Mathsyashraya Yojane, accident insurance scheme, savings-cum-relief-scheme, loan up to Rs 1 lakh at two per cent interest rate offer social security to the community.
Besides the department also supports prawn culture and sea bass culture. He added that the district received 1.50 lakh kiloliters of diesel last year and each boat receive 300 kilolitres per day.