Traditional fishermen demand halt to sand extraction from rivers in CRZ

They warn launching agitation if authorities do not concede their demands

January 01, 2021 11:01 pm | Updated 11:01 pm IST - MANGALURU

At a time when the State government has been allowing sand extraction from river beds in coastal regulation zones (CRZ) in the guise of clearing sand dunes for fishing boat movement, the Moola Nadi Meenugarara Sangha (association of traditional river fishermen) on Friday urged the authorities concerned to immediately halt such activities as sand extraction was affecting traditional fishermen.

Fishermen leader Vasudeva Boloor told reporters here that traditional fishing was being taken up for time immemorial and the present generation of fishermen too was engaged in traditional fishing in rivers in CRZ area. Fishermen get into the river directly to lay nets and these methods were called Bolpubale, Rampani, among others. On the other hand, fisherwomen collect Maruvai (clam) from rivers, he said.

However, extensive sand extraction from riverbeds in CRZ in the recent past has been threatening traditional fishermen wherein riverbeds have become deep. Even women were finding it difficult to collect Maruvai. While fishermen were negotiating rivers using Jalle (long poles), they were unable to do so now because of the increased depth, up to 30 ft at some locations. Nets of fishermen were getting damaged as sand extractors were leaving their boats anchored in rivers for long, Mr. Boloor said.

Some extractors were using machinery too to extract sand due to which the riverbed becomes too deep. Limestones and other chemical material have come up because of deep sand extraction affecting fishing activities. On the other hand, well water on the river banks have become saline even as sand transporting trucks were polluting the environment.

A factory producing edible oils on the banks of the Phalguni (Gurupura) near Kulur has been letting effluents into the river thereby destroying the marine life, Mr. Boloor said.

The authorities have not acted upon the representations given by fishermen so far, Mr. Boloor said and warned launching an agitation if sand extraction was not halted or regulated.

Even the Karnataka Karavali Meenugarara Sangha has extended support to the cause, he added.

Sangha president Harish Puthran, general secretary Naveen Salian and others were present.

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