Ahmedabad, June 16 : The fishing business in Gujarat has been on a decline for the past three years partly due to natural reasons and Pakistani firing on the boats.
With a 1600 km shoreline, this business fetched the state foreign exchange worth 100,000 million a year. But today, the situation is different.
"The small fish that we used to catch earlier is available in small quantities. But the real big fishes are not found, because of the cold and rains. The availability of the fish in comparison to the previous two to three years is very less," said Kadar Bandri, a fisherman.
"The other reasons are due to firing by Pakistanis. The Pakistanis are robbing the boats and firing on them. Because of fear, the fishermen are not going to areas. All this is having adverse effect on the business," said Mohan Barai, Secretary of the Fishing Businessssociation.
The business is carried on for eight months in the year. During this time, around 23800 small fishing boats go out in the sea to hunt for fish. Out of this, 350 have been captured by the Pakistani Marine Security Forces. Many times the Pakistani marine forces fire at the fishing boats.
All this has cumulatively affected the fishing business of Gujarat. Around 14 million people are associated with this business in the state. About 15 per cent of the people have already left their jobs for greener pastures. By Divyesh Vayeda