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Fishing holiday ends today

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GEARING UP:Fishermen getting ready to resume operations at Mandapam on Saturday.
GEARING UP:Fishermen getting ready to resume operations at Mandapam on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

RAMANATHAPURAM:The 45-day ban on fishing comes to an end on Sunday and fishermen are all set to resume operations in the southern coast of the State, including Rameswaram, from Monday.

The jetty at Rameswaram, the largest base for fishing boats in the region, has come alive over the last few days with the arrival of fishermen, boat captains, shore workers and others. Purchasing centres have also reopened.

The fishermen, who were undertaking repair and maintenance of their mechanised trawlers, have brought them to the jetties.

Similar scenes could be witnessed in other leading fishing centres of Ramanathapuram district, including Mandapam, Pamban, Thangatchimadam, Periapattinam, Kilakarai, Valinokkam, Erwadi, Devipattinam and Thondi. Fisheries Department officials said fishermen would be allowed to venture into the sea from Monday. The mandatory token letters would be distributed on Sunday. They could go fishing every alternative day.

It is expected that around 800 mechanised boats will sail on the first day from Rameswaram alone. Similarly, 350 to 400 trawlers may venture into the sea from Mandapam. Around 1,500 boats are expected to sail in Ramanathapuram district.

Ranjan of Thangatchimadam said that boat owners had spent an average of Rs.1.5 lakh per boat on repairs. “Several fishermen have spent up to Rs.5 lakh to bring back the badly damaged boats. They have borrowed heavily from moneylenders. The season needs to be good so as to repay the loan. Moreover, there should be least disturbance in the sea for peaceful fishing.”

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