Fishing ban lifted in Odisha

Kendrapara (Odisha) : With the prohibition imposed by Odisha government lifted from today, sea fishing hubs in Paradip and Kendrapara areas are abuzz with hectic activities.

After two-month-long break, sea-going fishermen began venturing into deep sea with their fishing crafts.

In a move to ensure the safe and hassle-free breeding of sea fish, Odisha government had earlier clamped the two-month prohibition on marine fishing operation.

The prohibitory orders which remained in force from 15 April was lifted from midnight last night.

The fishing prohibition in view of breeding season of fish earlier lasted 45 days. However, it was extended to 60 days this year as per order by union agriculture ministry. The 60-day ban was enforced simultaneously in West Bengal, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh on east coast, said officials.

Fishing vessels carrying the crews have reappeared along seawater, marking the start of seasonal fishing trade.

“All is set for bumper fishing season. Everybody is optimistic of making up the loss due to fishing ban. We are working hard to get higher fish catch,” said a seagoing fisherman, Sukumar Haldar.

The annual ban was enforced for larger interest of those living on fishing activity. The restriction is imposed every year to allow breeding and multiplication of fish population. It is aimed at greater interest for fishermen as it leads to larger yield. It remained in force from April 15 till June 14, said Additional Fisheries Officer, Bharat Bhusan Sahoo.

Bereft of alternative income sources, the fish workers and vendors were left to fend for themselves during these days of ban, said fishermen’s union spokesman, Tushar Sardar.

The fishing harbour at Paradip is now buzzing with activities. Fish merchants from West Bengal have already arrived in Paradip to purchase fish from the fishermen.

Similarly, seafood exporters of the state have opened their offices and collection centers to purchase fish and prawn from the fishermen, said the president of Trawler Owners’ Association of Paradip, Srikant Parida.