In a move which would have positive impact on marine ecology, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar extended the fishing ban in the State from the existing 45 days to 75 days, simultaneously announcing a scheme in the name of former Tourism Minister, late Matanhy Saldanha to compensate fishermen for the loss of catch during the ban period.
Parrikar while presenting Goa Budget 2013-14, stressed the need to increase fish production, as the catch was decreasing annually, by extending the fish ban period.
“To maintain the fish catch, 75 days total finishing ban will have to be maintained. The ban is applicable to trawlers as well as canoes with outboard motors," Parrikar said, adding that it was imperative to maintain the carrying capacity of the sea off Goa and stave off a fish famine.
He said that government would provide compensation upto Rs 10,000 to trawler operators and Rs 20,000 to canoe with outboard motor operators during the extended ban period.
“The scheme would be named after Late Matanhy Saldanha,” Parrikar stated, adding that Rs three crore had been allocated for the purpose.
Later addressing media persons, Chief Minister said that government is open to the idea to split the ban period into two parts if there are some difficulties. “But, the fishing community should put across their difficulties with proper justification,” he said.
Currently, the fishing ban is from June 15 to July 31.
In a bid to provide relief to fishermen affected by natural calamities, government also proposed Fisherman Corpus Fund. “In the initial stage, we propose to put upto Rs one crore in the corpus, which would be distributed to fishermen affected with natural calamities who suffer loss of property or life,” Chief Minister said.
Government has also proposed to construct four fish landing centres in the State. Chief Minister also announced to provide Kisan credit cards to fishermen with to reduce loan liabilities. He said that based on the card, government would provide loan to fishermen at one percent interest.
Government has also made a provision of Rs 12.18 crore to buy petrol outboard motors.
“The increasing price of kerosene and its restricted quantity has affected traditional fishing community. In order to provide benefit to such traditional occupants, government proposes to replace kerosene outboard motors with petrol motors,” Parrikar said. [H]