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Vessel upkeep a costly affair

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THE maintenance of small vessels has been cited as the costliest expense for some fishermen.

Field 40, Lautoka, fisherman Subhas Naidu said he had been a fisherman for more than 20 years.

"Yes, there are a lot of changes in the way we used to fish and the way we are fishing now," the 42-year-old said.

"Maintenance is our biggest expense because we have to get our boats checked and maintained every two months.

"We spend almost $140 to hire the crane to transport the boat to and from the wharf and a lot more on items like glue and paint. We also need to keep money aside in case the engine breaks down. So if you look at the total cost, we have to set aside about $500 to $600 each time."

He also hires two to three men to assist during each fishing trip.

"Keeping the vessel in working order is all right but now, our fishing trips are also uncertain at times.

"We can't predict how long we will be gone for because before, we used to be back by two days when we went. Now, it can be about five days."

Mr Naidu said windy conditions, unfavourable currents and unavailability of bait were factors that caused delays.

"These are things that have changed but we have to make do."

On good days, he said the catch amounted to $1500.

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