|The Tamil Nadu government is keen that the proposed deep-sea fishing project should start yielding benefits to fishermen during this financial year (2017-18).|
Even as it awaits the full details of the Centre’s approval of its deep-sea fishing project, the State government has drawn up broad plans for its implementation. The project was submitted to the Centre nearly four years ago when Jayalalithaa was the Chief Minister.
As per the project, 2,000 deep-sea fishing boats with long lines and gill nets will replace trawlers in three years. Initially, 500 such boats will be given. “Normally, the production of deep-sea fishing boats takes nine months. But, our idea is to compress the period into six months so that we can hand over at least 100 boats, this year itself,” said an official of the Fisheries Department.
Pointing out that the State has the capacity to produce the boats, the official said currently, there are 6,500 boats in the State, and all of them were manufactured locally. “We need to engage the private sector in a big way for the project,” the official said, adding that the entire coastal belt of the State, spread over 1,016 km, is full of facilities to produce the deep-sea boats.