Fishing community in Visakhapatnam worships Goddess of Water for good catch

Visakhapatnam, May 29 (ANI): People of the fishing community sought the blessings of the goddess of water as they participating in the annual, 'Gangamma Jatara' fishing festival in Visakhapatnam.

The annual ban on fishing in Visakhapatnam commenced from April 15 and continues till May 31.

Fisherfolk gathered at the temple to offer prayers to the goddess of water for a good fishing season.

The president of the Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Operators Welfare Association, P.C. Appa Rao said, they enthusiastically celebrated the festival with the boat owners.

Men dressed as Hindu goddesses enthralled the devotees with their folk dances.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh had imposed the ban to protect marine life. Engine propelled trawlers and mechanised boats are not allowed for fishing activities during the ban period.

The ban coincided with the spawning season for fish, during which they release eggs. As trawlers use fishing nets with small gaps, eggs and young ones (fries) would be caught in the net, leading to resource depletion.

The period of 47 days witnesses reproduction in all the species of fish. The fishermen community, which was affected by the ban, were asked to consider the ban as a measure to protect marine wealth.

Boat owners said workers engaged in boats do not have any work and suffer loss of income during the ban period.

They want the government to introduce a cash transfer scheme as is being done in Puducherry and someother areas.

In Visakhapatnam, about 620 mechanised boats and trawlers remained idle during the ban period. Some 6,000 professional fishermen depend on crew of these 625 boats for their livlihood. (ANI)