Fishermen to sport life jackets on high seas

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UDUPI: The department of fisheries will distribute as many as 4,500 life jackets and 3,000 insulated boxes among fishermen in the district.

The department has identified 2,400 beneficiaries from Kundapur taluk, 2,000 beneficiaries from Udupi taluk and 100 beneficiaries from Karkala taluk for the purpose.

Though the rules mandate fishermen to wear life jackets while venturing into sea, none followed it as the jackets are expensive and the boat owners do not provide them. As many as 12 fishermen lost their life in different mishaps in the sea in 2012-2013.

Gopal Kunder, president of Mechanized Boats Owners Association, Malpe, said, “It is a welcome move. Chances of fishermen surviving deep sea mishaps are more if they wear life jackets.”

The insulated boxes will be distributed among fishermen who make their lives by selling fish under gram panchayat and town panchayat limits. They can preserve the fish for two-three days in these boxes.

Baby H Salian, president of the Udupi Taluk Fresh Fish Sellers’ Association said, “We have got the information that all members of the association in the 60 fish markets of the taluk will get insulated boxes free of cost. 500 boxes have already reached us. But they are yet to be handed over to the beneficiaries. The quality of the boxes is good.”

The cost of one life jacket is Rs 1465 and that of insulated box is Rs 3,500.

Anjanadevi, assistant director of the fisheries department told TOI that life jackets and the insulated boxes will be distributed to the beneficiaries within a few days and the department had procured them through e-tendering process. “Prior to identifying the beneficiaries, we had sought applications from them,” she said. EOM/July 3, 2013

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