The fishing operation has come to a standstill as the 45-day ban on fishing by mechanised boats comes into effect from April 15. Restrictions have been imposed on fishing in view of breeding season in the coastal waters.

Usually the mechanised boats remain off the coast following enforcement of the ban.

During these days the coastal communities get involved in carrying out maintenance of their boats. Financial assistance of Rs. 500 is being extended to every fisherman during the ban. Though there is restriction for fishing operations, hectic activities are taking place in the fishing harbour.

The fishermen get engaged in works to set right technical snag and faults, if any, with engines. Other works like painting, wood work and preparing the fishing nets are taken up.

The fishermen earn their living with as many as 262 mechanised boats in Tuticorin. Fishing activities will be on a low key in other coastal villages like Tharuvaikulam with 60 mechanised boats, Vembar with 65 and Veerapandipattinam possessing 36.

Unlike the fishermen with mechanised boats, the country boat fishermen take exception to the ban. Since they undertake fishing with gill nets, it will not harm the breeding ground of fish unlike the dragnet.

Besides, over 5, 000 country boats in various parts of the district rely on fishing for their livelihood. Since the domestic consumption of fish is on the rise, the price is expected to go up during the period.

“If the fishermen want to have fish to eat and jobs for themselves in the future, then they need to ensure that there's something there to catch.” Commandant Udhal Singh, Coast Guard Station, Tuticorin, told ‘The Hindu' here on Wednesday that the Collector, the personnel of Coastal Security Group and Fisheries Department were asked to implement the directives in their respective area of jurisdiction.

A uniform ban on fishing by all fishing vessels in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone beyond territorial waters in Gulf of Mannar had been imposed for conservation and effective management of fisheries, Mr. Udhal Singh said.

Keywords: Social control

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