Mangaluru: Kishore, a fisherman, who owns a trawler in Malpe, has never had it so bad in his 35 years of fishing. Not only has his catch decreased , but the rise in the diesel rate has made it hard for him to go out to sea.
"This is the worst fishing season I have experienced in my three -and -a -half decades of fishing. One the one hand, diesel has become more expensive and on the other our catch has decreased, " complains Kishore, who is not alone in his plight as most fishermen are in the same boat, forced to weather the twin blows of a high diesel price and poor catch. "The price of diesel has increased by almost Rs 20 a litre since last year. We need about 5,000 litres per trip of multi- day fishing, which means we are paying about Rs 1 lakh more than last year. Meanwhile, with the fish catch decreasing our earnings too have fallen,” says a despairing Kishore.
Fishermen fear going out to sea as they could suffer huge losses should they not get a big enough catch. Most boats are therefore seen anchored along the coast. "We could manage if we got a catch of Rs 5.5 lakh per trip of multi- day fishing. But we are not ,” says the chief of the Dakshina
Kannada Trawl Boat Fishermen’s Union, Nithin Kumar.
"We could still make ends meets if the price of fish increased in proportion to the price of diesel rate. But its price has fallen. While Ribbon fish cost Rs 200 a kg last year, this year it is going for around Rs 95 a kg. Cuttle fish, which cost Rs 330 a kg last year, is going for about Rs 300 a kg this year,” laments a fishermen leader, Mohan Bengre.