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Kerala - Alappuzha Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Fishermen opt for country boats

By A. Harikumar

ALAPPUZHA, DEC. 21. Small country boats that can carry two fishermen are back in the district.

These boats that disappeared from the coastal areas following the advent of big mechanised boats and engine-fitted country boats are becoming popular following shortage of kerosene and high price of diesel.

According to fishermen, during the season, a country boat carrying two fishermen can easily get a catch that fetches Rs. 1,000. A big engine-fitted boat carrying around 70 fishermen can only yield a catch worth

Rs. 75, 000. Those who hire big boats have to spend more than 70 per cent of their earnings on rent and fuel. The remaining would be a meagre amount, they pointed out.

The Kerala Swatantra Matsya Tozhilali Federation leader, Lal Koipparambil, said that investment for a small country boat was less than Rs. 25,000. Fishermen could easily afford this, compared to the lakhs of rupees they had to be spent for big boats, he said.

Kerosene

The Dheevara Sabha leader, V. Dinakaran, said that traditional fishermen were not getting enough kerosene for boats. The kerosene quota allotted for owners of engine-fitted country boats was not sufficient. This was forcing fishermen to buy kerosene from the black market at a high rate, he said.

Strike

Mr. Dinakaran said inland fishermen in the State would go on a strike on December 22, to express solidarity with the striking fishing boat workers.

He demanded that sufficient quantity of diesel and kerosene be provided to fishing boats and country boats fitted with engines at subsidised rates.

As the price of petroleum products was increasing, the State Government should exempt the fuel supplied to fishing sector from sales tax, Mr. Dinakaran said.

See also Page 4

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