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31 Oct 2020, 06:47 HRS IST
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  • PTI
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  • Govt relief cushions COVID-19 lockdown, fishing ban restrictions in TN

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9:54 HRS IST

Chennai, Sep 25 (PTI) The impact of the lockdown enforced

to prevent the spread of coronavirus and local restriction on fishing were to some extent cushioned by Tamil Nadu government's relief measures, efforts of fisher organisations, and individual vessel owners.

Around Rs 96 crore was extended as relief to 4.8 lakh members through the Tamil Nadu Fishermen Welfare Board, which gave away Rs 2,000 per head for two months for the lockdown period for fishermen, fisherwomen, allied workers and crew members, a senior official in the fisheries department said.

An additional breeding season allowance of Rs 5,000 was given to each family for the ban (on fishing) period.

This sum was disbursed to about 1.6 lakh families, the senior official, who did not want to be named told PTI.

"Chief minister K Palaniswami's decision to extend free ration to the fishermen having family ration cards, who were entitled to the Rs 1,000 relief amount given by Tamil Nadu government, helped to mitigate the harsh conditions imposed by the pandemic," the official claimed.

"Some of us who owned small boats went out to fish but unfortunately could not sell due to the lockdown. The local panchayats and our organisations asked us to prioritise supply of fish to local households first."

"Vessel owners provided essential commodities to the fishermen engaged on board their huge crafts,"Mohan Kumar, a fisherman from Royapuram, here said.

Although the state government did not restrict fishing, the ban on mechanised boats due to the breeding season from mid-April to mid-June allowed only small boats on a rotation basis from April 14.

The mechanised boats couldn't ply for an additional time period of 20 days (from March 25 to 14 April) due to the lockdown and after that the annual ban period started.

The state government permitted the small boats to venture into the sea on a rotational basis from April 14, ensuring that only 50 per cent of the boats left from each village on alternate days and the boats were allowed to sail up to 12 nautical miles.

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