Mangaluru: As the state has been facing a financial crunch, the Fisheries Department has been forced to delay the release of diesel subsidies to the owners of fishing boats.
The fishermen are already under loss and the delay in subsidy release has added to their woes. Over 70 per cent of the boats have been berthed at the harbour and are unable to venture out to the sea. For the three trips in a month, fishermen need more than 15,000 litres of diesel. But, government gives a subsidy for only 9,000 litres. As the subsidy has been pending for the past five months, fishermen are now leading a difficult life. Sources have informed that, since last November, the government has not released the subsidies.
The delay has affected deep-sea fishermen, who are already under losses. Fishermen also don’t get enough fish in a catch. Sources from the fishermen community have also informed that purseseine boats, which are fewer in number, do not require a huge amount of diesel, but they are used for illegal fishing.
There are over 1,200 trawler owners, of whom only 30 per cent of them are active in deep-sea fishing at present. It is said that fishermen have seen a fish famine this season, the kind they have never seen before. Along with the fish famine, the government has failed to release diesel subsidies, which has added salt to their wounds.