Even as all fishermen of Rameswaram returned to the shore safely on Sunday after venturing into the sea, after a gap of 23 days, most of them expressed dismay over poor catch apparently due to the “disturbed” fishing in the “traditional fishing areas.”
As against an average of 60 to 70 kg prawn per trip on normal days, the fishermen netted between 30 and 35 kg on the first trip of fishing after the end of around 3 weeks of strike. The average weight of crab catch on Sunday was just 8 to 9 kg as against 20 kg per trip.
Fishermen were of the view that restricted fishing in the waters off Katchatheevu was one among the main reasons for the poor catch.
“We went for fishing with great expectation, as we would always get huge haul whenever ventured into the sea after some gap. It was not the case this time. The continuous patrolling by the Sri Lankan Navy has literally deterred the fishermen to cast nets in the waters of Katchatheevu,” said S. Stephen George, a fisherman of Ariyankundu.
T.Balamurugan of Rameswaram said that the fishermen faced a lot of disturbances all through the day and night. As several of them were forcefully sent back abruptly when they were fishing in the fringe areas, most of them spent the time with fear. It seemed that it was impossible for the fishermen to engage in peaceful fishing hereafter in the traditional waters.
Meanwhile, the fishermen, who went for fishing in 3 boats, claimed that their boats were damaged by the navy personnel for fishing in Katchatheevu areas.