Fishing ban in Odisha coast a ‘profit-loss’ initiative

Balasore/Bhubaneswar: The Central government has imposed a complete ban on fishing in the water bodies in Odisha coastal areas for two months, to protect the fish stock during the breeding period. The ban, which was imposed on April 15 last month, will remain effective till June 14 for all mechanised boats and trawlers.

It is not for the first time that the fishing ban has been imposed as such restrictions are being imposed as per the directions of the Central Government for the past two decades to ensure conservation of fish during its breeding-period, so that fishermen get the maximum benefit.

Though the vessel and trawler owners in Balasore have welcomed the government’s move, they alleged that they are deprived of any kind of assistance from the government during the ban period. However, the traditional fishermen using small boats are exempted from the ban and are permitted to fish in territorial waters.

“We are following the government orders and have stopped venturing into the sea. But we are facing heavy losses,” said Suainur-Ul-Haq, a trawler owner.

The fishermen and trawler owners in Balasore district who have undertaken repair work of their respective boats during the period further claimed that they have been denied ration from the biometrics card.

“It is getting difficult for us to meet our daily needs. Though we have welcomed the ban imposed by the government for two months, we are facing problems,” Kadar Ali Khan, another trawler driver.

Barisan Murmu, Additional Marine Fisheries Director of Balasore, said, “As per the rules of Government of India, the small boats can venture into the sea till a depth up to 8.50 mtrs, and they have been exempted and allowed for fishing as they cannot go deep into the sea.”