Staff Reporter

Inland fisheries to be developed in Kanyakumari district

NAGERCOIL: Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANVAU), along with the Department of Fisheries, will study the sudden fall in catch in the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, especially after the tsunami.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology has denied any major change in the sea after the tsunami. However, fishermen continue to complain about the fall in catch.

TANVAU Registrar V. Thiyagarajan has told The Hindu that experts will also consider steps to increase the catch. According to him, the fishermen of Kanyakumari have traditional knowledge, but lack guidance in application of modern technology. They still use "vallams" and catamarans and live in abject poverty.

Fishermen training

These Fishermen used to net 31,000-34,000 tonnes a year. In the last two years, this has come down to 20,000 tonnes. Hence, it has been decided to give them proper guidance in modern technology.

Mr. Thiyagarajan says the university will develop inland fisheries in the district in phases. In the first phase, training will be given to fishermen who want to culture fish in the Pechipparai, Perunchani, Chittar I and Chittar II dams. Fish culture in tanks and ponds will be taken up later to ensure sustainable livelihood for fishermen and development of panchayats.

Funds allotted

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has allocated Rs. 2.75 crore to the university for research on animals and improving the infrastructure in all extension centres. The Department of Biotechnology has allotted Rs. 2 crore for conducting molecular diagnosis of diseases in animals.