Slow start to fishing season as labor and weather spoil the game | Goa News
Panaji: Even when the annual 61-day fishing ban ended on July 31, fishing boat owners operating in Goa were reluctant to send their vessels out to sea on the first day of the new season.
Only 10 ships from Cutbona Pier, and even fewer from Malim Pier, ventured to sea on August 1.
With a majority of the workforce employed on the trawlers having yet to return from their respective home states, coupled with the uncertainty of making a good catch due to rough sea conditions, most operators will likely wait until mid-August to launch full-fledged operations.
“There are 300 fishing boats anchored at the Malim jetty. However, only one trawler started operations on Monday. The majority of us are waiting for the workers to return to Goa, which forces us to postpone the start of operations until August 15,” said Francisco Fernandes, a member of the Mandovi Fishermen Marketing Cooperative Society.
The weather conditions are also not favorable at the moment. “IMD warned of squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-45 km/h gusting to 55 km/h on the south coast of Maharashtra-Goa on August 4-5. Fishermen warned therefore been advised not to venture into these areas during this time,” a weather warning issued by IMD read.
Boat owners have also said that with rising diesel prices, it doesn’t make sense to go out to sea only to come back with a bad catch. “We end up spending Rs 1 lakh on fuel just to catch a catch worth Rs 50,000 in bad weather,” said a trawler owner operating out of Malim.
At Cutbona, trawler owners face the problem of a sandbar across the mouth of the Sal. Fisheries Minister Nilkanth Harlankar said: “I have asked the government and the Harbor Master to let us take over the dredging of the sandbar for the smooth passage of the trawlers.”