A day after the Union Home Ministry issued an addendum giving exemption to marine fishing activities from the lockdown restrictions, Gujarat government on Saturday lifted the restrictions for the fishing community and allowed them to venture into the sea for the catch.

Making an announcement, Secretary to the Chief Minister, Ashwini Kumar stated that Gujarat government has lifted the restrictions for fishing and allied activities amid nation-wide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak.

“Fishermen in Gujarat can now venture into the sea for their regular business activities. We are starting to issue them tokens for the purpose,” he said.

This also opens up the businesses connected with fisheries including processing, packaging, cold chain maintenance and transportation.

On Friday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an addendum to the consolidated guidelines regarding the nationwide lockdown to fight Covid-19 virus.

“The 5th addendum exempts from lockdown restrictions the operations of the Fishing (Marine)/Aquaculture Industry, including feeding and maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging, cold chain, sale and marketing; hatcheries, feed plants, commercial aquaria, movement of fish/ shrimp and fish products, fish seed/feed and workers for all these activities,” it had stated.

Gujarat, which covers about 1/5th of country’s coastline with its 1,600 kmsof coastline, contributes about 20% of the country’s total marine production. The state has about 8.42 lakhtonnes of fish production annually worth about ₹7,005 crore (2018-19).