Dismantling of illegal Chinese nets in Kumbalangi getting delayed

Restrictions imposed on normal activities to contain COVID-19 has hit plans of the Fisheries Department to dismantle unauthorised Chinese fishing nets (dip nets) in the backwaters off Kumbalangi.

Sources said that the department had decided to dismantle unauthorised nets early last year and preparations had been made for it.

It is estimated that there are around 2,000 Chinese fishing nets in Kumbalangi waters, which have given rise to complaints from fishers in the village and surrounding areas. The large number of fishing nets has also resulted in the nets obstructing the movement of water craft, including fishing vessels.

Stephen P.J. who is among those representing fishers who have put up dip nets to make a living said that dip nets had turned into an investment and money-making system for some. There are some who own more than a score of such nets. They employ workers from other States to operate the nets while the actual purpose of Chinese nets is to provide a means of livelihood for the fishing community.

John Martin from Kumbalangi said that there was a time when no licence was needed to establish dip nets. The idea behind the blanket permission was to help people make a living by using these nets. However, the rising number of fishing nets was an example of how people had come to misuse the system. He also said that normal fishing activities as well as the movement of fishing vessels and other water craft had been constrained because of the proliferation of nets.

The problem was more pronounced in the areas close to where Kumbalangi and Aroor backwaters met.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 1:34:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/dismantling-of-illegal-chinese-nets-in-kumbalangi-getting-delayed/article34841524.ece

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