Fishermen seek more cold storage units
Fishermen in the district are unable to get good price for their fish catch due to lack of cold storage facilities in coastal areas.
Srikakulam: Fishermen in the district are unable to get good price for their fish catch due to lack of cold storage facilities in coastal areas. As a result, the fishermen in 104 villages are forced to sell their catch at cheaper price to avoid further damage.
In the district, over 1.60 lakh marine fishermen are depending on fish hunt as the coastal belt spread over 194 kilometers in 11 mandals from north side Itchapuram to south side Ranastalam. According to fisheries department official's estimation, total 35,000 metric tonnes of fish produce is available every year from sea source.
But fishermen are forced to dispose their produce on the same day or next day to middlemen to avoid further damage. The middlemen are providing financial aid to fishermen by getting agreement to sell their fish produce to them after reaching to seashore. If the government provides proper loan facility to the fishermen by keeping their produce at cold storages, they can get good price for their produce.
Earlier, Chief Ministers N T Rama Rao, Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, K Rosaiah, N Kiran Kumar Reddy including present Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu assured to establish cold storage units at coastal belt in the district. But their assurances remained on papers till today. "Cold storage units are essential in coastal belt in the district to store fish and to get remunerative price but successive governments are neglecting the fishermen welfare," leaders of fishermen unions Ch Suryanarayana, M Phalguna Raju, M Gurumurthy and M Sriramulu told The Hans India.
"For establishment and maintenance of a cold storage unit, it requires huge budget and skilled staff. But the government is not allotting any budget for it," joint director for fisheries V V Krishna Murthy explained to this newspaper.