Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister honours fishing village in Thoothukudi that does not use nets

532 fishing villages in State are co-managing resources with the government

The fishers of Kombutharai village in Thoothukudi do not know how to use fishing nets — they are accustomed to the traditional hook and line method of fishing, and they believe in conserving marine resources and do not catch small-sized fish.

Recently, the village’s co-management committee received an award from Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami as “the best village with co-management in the State”.

A cash award of ₹30,000 and a memento were presented on the occasion. The amount will be spent towards the welfare of the village.

Co-management is a concept that is being introduced in 532 fishing hamlets in Tamil Nadu, where the local community and the government share responsibility and authority for management of resources.

Cooperative governance

“This village has its own co-management committee that takes responsibility for the management of resources. They manage conflicts on their own, they handle fish in a hygienic manner, and they budget their expenses,” explained an official of the Fisheries Department.

Manakkudi in Kanniyakumari district and Sulerikattukuppam near Chennai have won the second and third places amongst co-managed villages for the CM’s award.

Better methods

George Gregory, the president of Kombuthurai’s fishermen’s cooperative society, said that the villagers had moved to their present location from Kanniyakumari in 1980, since “the catch there was not much”.

“Our forefathers only used hook and line fishing, which is what the 200-odd fishers in our village also follow. In fact, none of us know how to catch fish using nets. Our hooks and lines sometimes run for a length of about 4 km. With this method, we don’t catch the young of the fish, but only the big-sized ones. We don’t have any middlemen to sell our fish — we have removed them since the mid-1990s. Our fishing cooperative society fixes prices according to the catch,” Mr. Gregory explained.

The village also does not use plastics, and cleans its beach, fish-landing centre and auction hall regularly.

The fishers also contribute towards the upkeep of the village, the cooperative society, and any other needs.

The Fisheries Department has also set up similar co-management committees at the district, regional and State-levels to get more villages into the system.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:26:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/chief-minister-honours-fishing-village-in-thoothukudi-that-does-not-use-nets/article30804357.ece

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