Malpe: Families of fishermen dependent on fishing for their livelihood are facing hardships due to a shortage of kerosene supply. Even though the fishing season resumed in the month of August, the state government has not been releasing the promised 300 liters of kerosene to the traditional small fishing boats. Resultantly several boats are seen anchored at the coast here.
Dinesh Padukere, a fisherman lamented that despite the abundance of fish at the moment, they are unable to venture into the sea for fishing activities due to a shortage of kerosene supply. The families are finding it difficult to meet their ends with no other means of livelihood, he said.
There are as many as 8,030 kerosene-powered fishing boats in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada. The monthly requirement of kerosene for these boats is estimated at around 24,090 kilolitres (300L per boat). Over 60,000 fishermen are employed in these boats.
As per the statistical figures, the number of fishing boats in the coastal district has gone up from 4,514 in the year 2013 to 8,030 presently. The government had consented to the fishermen’s demand and directed the Fisheries Dept to increase the kerosene supply from 150L to 300L in April 2022-23. But the same is yet to be implemented.
In view of this, the fishermen’s association has decided to hold a protest in front of the District Collector’s offices in the three districts simultaneously on November 7. In Udupi, around 20,000 fishermen will gather at MGM college and march to the DC office.
“We have made repeated requests to the state government through the elected representatives but there has been no response yet. If our demands are met in a week we will abandon the protest otherwise we will stage fierce protests,” said Anand Kharvi Uppunda, President of the State Traditional Boat Fishermen’s Union.