Not a 'catchy' venture: Over 300 trolling boats converted into scrap in Kerala in last 1.5yrs

Cleetus Chungath

Representational image (AP photo)

Chavakkad: Poor returns and skyrocketing diesel prices are forcing those involved in deep ocean fishing to wind up the business. According to All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association, more than 300 trolling boats were converted into scrap in the last 1.5 years.

Not just poor returns and fuel price, but also increase in operational costs is putting the operators in trouble. The cost of boat spare parts, rope, board and nets have increased.

In a day a boat will require 600 litres of diesel which will cost Rs 60,000. The ice for preserving the catch will cost Rs 10,000. Including workers bata the total cost will be around Rs 80,000.

If the boat fetch fish worth Rs 1 lakh, then profit will be Rs 20,000. As per precedent the profit will be divided between the boat operator and the workers in the ratio 60:40, that means Rs 12,000 and Rs 8,000 respectively.

However, as return reduces it will lead to losses. Many are scrapping the boats and winding up the business as the debts raise.

According to fisheries department there are around 4,500 trolling boats in the state. Government officials maintained that scrapped boats are either old or non-operational. However, All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association’s state president Mathias Peter than more than half of the scrapped boats were in good in condition.

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