Fishermen seek increased dole during ban period

They say the current amount is not enough for 61 days

Various fishermen organisations have urged the government to increase the dole given during the 61-day long annual fishing ban, which is currently on.

The amount is provided since fishermen are usually without work during the ban, which is meant for mechanised boats.

“The ₹5,000 given is not enough to run a family for 61 days. The government is asking us to stay away from fishing, which is why it began giving us the dole. Families that are below the poverty line, are members of fishermen cooperative societies and live in fishing villages are given the assistance,” said Nanjil Ravi, Akhila Indhiya Meenavar Sangam.

K. Bharathi, South India Fishermen Welfare Association, said the amount was not enough. “The current amount barely helps cover food expenses. With no income whatsoever, workers and other labourers, who get work due to the mechanised boats, depend on this amount,” he explained.

A former official of the Fisheries Department said not many States provided such a dole. “A section of mechanised boat workers are questioning the rationale behind giving this assistance to those fishing using country craft since they are in no way affected by the ban,” he said.

An industry expert suggested that instead of giving them this amount for free, some kind of work could be provided like under the 100-days rural guarantee scheme being given in the agriculture sector, he said.

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