Chellanam mini fishing harbour to be partially opened

Fishers preparing to leave the Chellanam harbour during heavy monsoon downpour on Monday. The harbour has remained shut for almost two months now.  

The Chellanam mini fishing harbour will open partially on Monday after a gap of about two months. There are around 250 fishing boats, all of them small boats manned by traditional fishers, that come from areas like Arthunkal, Ottamassery, Andharkaranazhi, and Azheekkal.

The prolonged closure of the harbour, loss of fishing days due to weather warnings, and COVID-19 lockdown had put fishers in serious financial trouble. Many of them had taken up other works, including joining the pool of autorickshaw drivers, for survival, said P.A. Charles, a fisherman who had left the harbour work during the pandemic. Boats will venture out for fishing on the basis of their registration, with alternate days being allotted to them. They will go only short distances in view of heavy rain and rough seas. They will mostly be within the mobile phone range and fishing trips will last only about three to four hours.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the high test positivity rate had forced the closure of the mini fishing harbour in the early weeks of May. Besides the loss of fishing days, fishers had also sustained damage to their boats and gear in heavy rain induced by cyclonic storms off the coast of Kerala. Cyclone Tauktae had caused most of the damage to fishing boats.

V.D. Majeendran of Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation said monsoon season was a peak time for traditional fishers as trawling boat operations remained suspended. Bulk of the catch for traditional boat operators come in the brief window of time during the rainy season, he added.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 1:51:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/chellanam-mini-fishing-harbour-to-be-partially-opened/article34807094.ece

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