Udupi, Aug 19, 2016: As per traditions of the area, fisherfolk offered prayers to the sea (“samudra puje”) and Lord Vadabhandeshwara, seeking a good fishing season, at Malpe beach here on Aug 18, Thursday.
It was drizzling as they offered prayers, first at the Vadabhandeshwara (Balarama) Temple at Malpe and to the sea god at Malpe beach. Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, who also belongs to the Mogaveera community, told reporters that it was a tradition for members of the fishermen community to offer prayers to the sea god during “Nariyal Poornima”.
Traditionally, fishermen go to sea only after Nariyal Poornima. But with the government’s ban on fishing ending earlier, they now do so earlier. “As fishing is a risky profession, fishermen pray for a safe voyage and a good haul,” he said.
Hiriyanna T. Kediyoor, president of Malpe Fishermen’s Association, said fishermen get a good haul between August and October and between April and May. November to March is usually regarded as slack months for fishermen.
“But last year, the fishermen had a satisfactory catch. We want the same, if not better, this year,” he said.
The fishermen also urged Minister Madhwaraj to construct a wharf from the first and second stages of Malpe fisheries harbour to the third stage. “It will help more boats to anchor and unload,” Kediyoor said.
K. Raghupati Bhat, former MLA, Yashpal Suvarna, president of the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts Fish Marketing Federation, were present.