KOCHI: The fishermen in the state have a lot to cheer from the state Budget this year, as it gives thrust to many proposals for the development of the sector - right from basic safety facilities to overall development.
According to E G George Kutty, deputy director of Fisheries Department, Kochi, the Budget has everything for a positive change in the living standards of the fishing community.
“An amount of `8.5 crore has been allocated for Teera Mythri Project. This will provide fishermen an alternative means of livelihood during off-season. The Fisheries Department also hopes for modernisation of the sector through value-added products and modern fish markets,” he said.
The Matsya Samrudhi Project, aiming at increasing inland fresh water fish production from 75,000 tonnes to 2.5 lakh tonnes, has been introduced.
“The three-year project will be implemented jointly by the state government and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana with the Central Government assistance,” Joint Director of Fisheries Ajayan, who is the special officer for the project, said.
In the academic side, the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) has been allotted `12 crore. The university will set aside a major portion of the outlay for infrastructure development.
“We are extremely happy. This is a great impetus to the academic activities in the fisheries and ocean studies. The fund would be used mainly for developing infrastructure for various academic programmes,”
said Dr Madhusoodhana Kurup, Vice-Chancellor, KUFOS.
The Budget earmarks a complete safety system for fishermen, including control and surveillance mechanism, vessel tracking system and distribution of safety kits.
Also, VHF towers will be installed to enable uninterrupted communication with Coast Guard.