Countryboat fishermen demand action against use of purse seine fish nets

Fishermen getting seine nets ready at Aatrankarai in Ramanathapuram. File

Fishermen getting seine nets ready at Aatrankarai in Ramanathapuram. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Members of the countryboat fishermen association from 10 districts have appealed to the State government to take firm action against the use of double net or purse seine fish nets in the Palk Straits.

Speaking to reporters, country boat fishermen association presidents of Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi, Rayappan and S.J. Gayas, said though the governments claimed to have issued ban orders, many mechanised boat owners and fishermen used them.

Recently, the fishermen in Sri Lanka too had objected to the use of these banned nets. It may fetch huge catch for the fishermen, but the damage done to the ecology is so high, Mr. Gayas said. The use of the nets was high in Palk Straits, he underlined and said that when the High Courts had directed the Fisheries Department to act as per the laws, it seemed to have neglected the orders.

He further said that many of the mechanised boats had also had higher horsepower than the permitted levels. The length of the boats too were a case of clear violation. The silence of the authorities only encouraged the violators.

The country boat fishermen were at a loss to understand on slackness showed by the officials in enforcing the law. “ We have set a deadline to the government. If they do not act, we will again approach the court for contempt,” Mr. Gayas said.

Fishermen from Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Mayiladuthurai and other districts attended the meet.

The Fisheries Department officials, however, maintained that before COVID-19 struck, they had acted against mechanised boat fishermen for using banned fish nets and collected ₹26 lakh fines. Due to the pandemic, the enforcement was not regular and the action would begin, they added.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 11:19:25 am |