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Recurrent hikes in diesel price leave Indian fishermen in dire straits by Santosh Patnaik June 17,2020   |  Source: The Hindu

The recent increase in diesel price has put Indian fishermen on a sticky wicket at a time when high operational cost is preventing many of them from undertaking long voyages.

“Fishing is no more remunerative for us due to high operational cost and the recent increase in diesel price is adding to the burden,” rues P.C. Appa Rao, president of Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Operators’ Welfare Association.

Diesel cost in north Andhra region has gone up from ₹62 a litre to ₹67 in the last few days. “We will be happy if the government increases the per litre diesel subsidy from ₹9 to ₹12,” says Mr. Appa Rao. Rising operational cost has forced many boat operators to undertake short voyages . Many fishermen from Visakhapatnam, one of the leading hubs for fish exports with a turnover of around ₹8,000 crore per annum, are opting of short voyages of about 100 to 120 nautical miles from the coast (up to Donkuru near Bhavanapadu) to reduce their cost of operations. Normally, mechanised boats go on voyages for 12 to 15 days.

Further, the paucity of ice is also giving the fishermen the jitters. Twenty-odd ice plants in the city are not in a position to cater to the demand as the fishing ban was cut short by two weeks, giving them no scope for preparations ahead of



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