Tamil Nadu

Plea to stop mechanised boat operators using Chinese engines

Country boat fishermen of Erwadi and surrounding villages at the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram on Monday.

Country boat fishermen of Erwadi and surrounding villages at the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram on Monday.  

They also use banned double net, say countryboat fishermen

Members of a fishermen association, affiliated to CITU, from Kadaladi block in Yerwadi union here on Monday alleged that a majority of mechanised operators in the district used engines made in China, which were not only banned, but also had higher horse-power.

Submitting a memorandum to Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao here on Monday at the weekly grievance day petition at the Collectorate, the members said the mechanised boat fishermen, in connivance with officials of the fisheries department used higher HP engines. While the government permitted use of 150 hp, the Chinese-make engines were thrice powerful with 450 hp.

Further, the fishermen used double net, which was banned in the region by the government. Though the country boat fishermen submitted several complaints with the fisheries department here, there was no tangible action, M. Karunamoorthi, district secretary of CITU, said.

He added that over 10,000 fishermen from 10 villages in Kadaladi block of Yerwadi union depended on fishing.

Such forceful use of mechanised boats with higher horse-power engines and use of double fishing nets, the woes of country boat fishermen was on the rise. “If the government fails to stop and take firm action, the ordinary fishermen will have no other choice but to come to the streets and fight for justice,” he said.

The mechanised boats, as per a 1983 agreement and Act, were supposed to carry out fishing only beyond four nautical miles. However, they carried out fishing in less than one nautical mile, which led to poor catch for the country boat fishermen in the region, Mr. Karunamoorthi alleged.

The collusion between mechanised boat operators and some officials in the fisheries department would not be tolerated by the fishermen, he warned.

Mr. Karunamoorthi hoped that the Collector would intervene and take severe action, which would ensure livelihood for the country boat fishermen.

The Collector assured them that he would look into their grievances and instructed fisheries department officials to hold a meeting with various stakeholders, officials said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:17:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plea-to-stop-mechanised-boat-operators-using-chinese-engines/article30789290.ece

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