Chennai

Unsafe to leave boats at sea, say T.N. fishermen

Exposed to the elements: At Pulicat, where the brackish water lake is full of floodwaters, fishermen have pulled their boats further up the embankment.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Fishermen say they have no space to park boats or keep nets safely as instructed by the State government in times of cyclones.

During the monsoon, the sea advances inland, and in some places even enters coastal villages. S. Palayan, a fisherman of Ururkuppam, said fishermen had dragged the boats onto the road in their village.

“The sea is very close to our homes, and if we leave our boats on the beach, they would be washed away or buried in the sand and damaged,” he said.

At Pulicat, where the brackish water lake is brimming with floodwaters from various rivers, including the Arani river, fishermen have pulled their boats further up the embankment.

“There has not been much rain in our area, but water from other places have flowed in here. Another round of opening of the dams upstream would only mean we would have to leave the boats on the main road. And it is not an easy task since the boats weigh a lot. The smallest boat weighs half-a-tonne. We need cranes to move most boats, and when fishing activities resume, the cranes have to be engaged again,” said A. Ganesh, a fisherman.

“Sea erosion has eaten up space in many villages, and in some places, roads and beach beautification projects, too, come in the way. There is no designated space for keeping boats, nets and engines safely in our villages. The government must designate spaces for such a purpose,” said K. Bharathi of South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association.

He said that even during full moons and some months when the sea would be rough, the waves would wash away blocks of sand overnight.

The government should construct shelters for engines and nets to be used by fishermen, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 7:32:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/unsafe-to-leave-boats-at-sea/article33217084.ece

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