The Andhra Pradesh Government has imposed an annual 60-day ban on fishing by motorised and mechanised boats in the Bay of Bengal. The ban orders, which began from April 14 midnight, will remain in force until June 14.
According to India Today, the annual ban is imposed every year to allow breeding and multiplication of fish population. It was also enforced simultaneously in West Bengal.
Earlier this week, GO-97 was released by authorities, which directed all district level officials to make arrangements for strict implementation of the ban along the Andhra coastline.
“We will ensure that no boat ventures into the sea for fishing until June 14 as per the guidelines of the annual fishing ban. We have begun our study to identify eligible people for release of compensation,” Fisheries Department Assistant Director A Solomon Raju told The Hindu.
Until 2015, the annual ban was reportedly imposed for a period of 45 to 47 days, but the Ministry of Agriculture has since extended the period to 60 days. With this move, around 4,000 people in Visakhapatnam, who are reportedly engaged in fishing in the Bay of Bengal, are likely to lose their livelihood for the next two months.
The state government has reportedly planned to release a compensation of Rs.40,000 to people who are expected to be affected by the ban by end of May this year.
However, over 900 fishermen claim that they are yet to receive the compensation from last year's ban.
"Fishermen are not allowed to venture out in the sea. On top of it, they are not getting compensation. They are not skilled to earn their living from other professions. How will they survive?" Satya Narayana, a representative of the Fishermen Association of Visakhapatnam asked ANI.
According to The New Indian Express, fishermen have been facing problems in getting the compensation, even after repeated complaints to the authorities. A group of fisherman also told TNIE that the state had released an amount of Rs 6.79 crore in two phases last year for 16,988 fishermen who had registered their names with the District Fisheries Department. However, around 60 motorised boats were not taken into consideration during enumeration, they alleged.