Odisha fishermen set to venture into sea as ban on fishing ends

Bhubaneswar: After a two-month-long ban, the fishermen in the State are gearing up to venture into deep sea and carry out fishing activities with their jetties and trawlers.

Reportedly, the Central Government had imposed the restriction on April 15 last month till June 14 for all mechanised boats and trawlers to conserve fish stock during the breeding season. However, the traditional fishermen using small boats were exempted from the ban and allowed to fish in territorial waters.

The fishermen and others engaged in fishing activities, who had left their boats and trawlers anchored in the jetties are now back to various fishing hubs in the State.

Similarly, the fishermen of Balaramgadi, Kasafala, Bahabalpur and Talsari jetties have already engaged themselves in painting their boats, repairing vessels and preparing nets so as to venture into the sea as soon as possible. They also offered puja to Goddess Ganga for a good business this year.

“The fishing has been stopped since last two months. We offered puja to the Goddess so that we can resume the practice and hope for good earning this year,” said Badal Jena, fisherman.

“We had written to the Central Government to impose the ban for three months because the amount to which the water bodies are being exploited has resulted in the decrease of fish population. However, the restriction was imposed for two months,” informed Badal Dash, President of Balasore Fishermen Association.

As many as 1,500 trawler and boats in Bhadrak and Balasore that had remained non-functional since the ban was imposed are being loaded with ice and other fishing equipments, sources said.

“We have loaded our boats with adequate ice, food, water, fuel required for the next 10-12 days and we are ready to go for fishing now,” said a trawler driver, Nityananda Behera.