The fisherman ventured out on May 30, when an annual ban order was in place by the state government.

Andhra steps up search operation for 7 missing fishermen coast guard deploys vesselsImage: Wikimedia Commons/Aditya Madhav
news News Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 09:39

Seven fishermen from Andhra who went missing on May 30, are yet to be found, as officials stepped up search and rescue operations on Wednesday.

The fishermen belonged to Parlovapeta area in Kakinada, and had reportedly ventured out to sea, when a fishing ban was in place. 

Reports state that the operation involved three Coast Guard vessels from Kakinada, four from Viskhapatnam and an aircraft, to search along the east coast.

Other reports added that the Chennai Coast Guard, ONGC and Reliance were also asked to keep a lookout and join the search.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also spoke to the East Godavari district Collector Kartikeya Misra, and checked on the case.

Officials said they were alerted about the missing fishermen on June 12, and began search operations immediately. 

 “We have also alerted the coastal security forces headquarters in Chennai and expecting information about the fishermen at any moment. The search will be continued till the fishermen are spotted,” the Collector's statement to the media said.

On April 14 this year, the Andhra government imposed an annual 60-day ban on fishing by motorised and mechanised boats in the Bay of Bengal.

The ban orders remained in force until June 14.

The annual ban is imposed every year to allow breeding and multiplication of fish population. It was also enforced simultaneously in West Bengal.

The state released Government Order (GO)-97, which directed all district level officials to make arrangements for strict implementation of the ban along the Andhra coastline.

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.