Kakinada tuna fishers unwelcomed at Vizag

Some of the Vizag fishing harbour leaders are not allowing them to sell their catch and utilise the facilities there, fishers allege

KAKINADA: Kakinada deep sea tuna fishing fibre boat operators are facing problems in getting anchorage and also facilities for selling their catch, purchasing ice and for other things at Visakhapatnam fishing harbour. They allege that some of the Vizag fishing harbour leaders are not allowing them to sell their catch and utilise the facilities there.

Fibre boats go on high seas, hundreds of kilometres away up to Odisha and Tamil Nadu as the Central and the state laws allow them to take up fish hunt anywhere in India.

These fibre boats mostly hunt tuna fish with big nets. However, some leaders in Vizag fishing harbour union are not allowing Kakinada deep sea fibre boat owners into their harbour on the pretext that the prices of their catch would fall.

Though the problem has been faced by the Kakinada boat operators for the past two years, they are somehow managing it. But, after completing the conservation period, the Kakinada operators went on fish hunt and tried to anchor their boats at Visakhapatnam harbour, were not allowed to do so.

“Nearly 250 fibre boats from Kakinada are engaged in tuna fish hunting. Hardly 10 per cent of them go to hunt in Bay of Bengal. They are allowed both by the central and the state government laws to undertake fishing anywhere and it is not correct to stop them from anchorage at Visakhapatnam fishing harbour. The Kakinada boat operators have the fishing gear to go into the deep sea and fish there and they find it convenient to anchor at Visakhapatnam and sell the fish there. But some of the local fishermen at fishing harbour are not allowing them, saying that the prices in the local market are affected,’’ said Tummala Ramesh, an office-bearer of Dummulapeta, Parlopeta (Kakinada) deep sea tuna fishing fibre boat owners association.

He said that they catch tuna fish in the deep sea with their special fishing gear and, therefore, there is no competition between the tuna fish and other fish at Visakhapatnam harbour. He said that in 2016, a similar problem arose, but it was sorted out by the officials. He requested both the officials of both districts to intervene and resolve the issue.

The association submitted a memorandum to the Joint Director of Fisheries at Kakinada.

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