Thousands throng Kasimedu fishing harbour on Sunday to buy fish fresh off the boats

A scene at the Kasimedu fishing harbour on Sunday morning

A scene at the Kasimedu fishing harbour on Sunday morning   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

There was no regulation of the crowds, and many did not maintain physical distancing, fishermen said

Thousands of consumers and retailers flocked to Kasimedu to buy fish right off the boats, on Sunday morning.

The impromptu row of vendors, along the busy Ennore Expressway, a national highway, was crowded since 4 a.m. Customers, who thronged the shops did not maintain physical distancing, throwing caution to the winds.

Fishers said that none of the departments concerned took any steps to regulate the crowds. “There is police presence even when a Tasmac shop is opened. But here, since fishers are not allowed to sell fish inside the Kasimedu fishing harbour, they are forced to sell their catch on the roads. And this because the Chennai Corporation, Fisheries Department and the police have not bothered to earmark any space for sales. There is enough empty space inside the fishing harbour that can be used for this purpose,” said Nanjil Ravi of the Akhila Indhiya Meenavar Makkal Sangam.

With only country craft and boats with low horsepower going to sea, only about 6-8 tonnes of fish catch is brought back daily to Kasimedu. This, against its 150 tonnes a day during normal times. People flock to Kasimedu hoping for fresh catches and many buyers prefer to touch and check the fish before buying it, explained an industry expert.

With the government deciding to lift the fishing ban on larger mechanised boats from Sunday night, the primary demand of fishers has been arrangements to be made for regulated retail sale of fish through fish markets and retailers.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 1:40:54 AM |

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