TAMIL NADU

Heavy flow in Cauvery affects fishing activity in Mettur

Fresh fish items have become scarce in the eateries in Mettur and surrounding villages as fishing activity has been hit owing to heavy water flow in River Cauvery.E. Lakshmi NarayananE_LakshmiNarayanan

Fresh fish items have become scarce in the eateries in Mettur and surrounding villages as fishing activity has been hit owing to heavy water flow in River Cauvery.E. Lakshmi NarayananE_LakshmiNarayanan  

The continuous heavy flow of water in River Cauvery has affected fishing activity in a big way in the villages along the river banks near Mettur.

As a large number of inland fishermen have avoided entering river which has been carrying more than 30,000 cusecs of water for the last one week, the fish food has become scarce in hotels and other eateries in Mettur town and in the surrounding villages, disappointing the visiting tourists.

More than 2,000 inland fishermen have secured licence for fishing in River Cauvery and in the water spread area of the Stanley Reservoir in the villages of Settipatti, Pannavadi, Kottaiyur, Setthukuli and Masilapalayam.

Due to the poor storage in the dam for the past six months, a majority of fishermen have migrated to the nearby towns on the lookout for alternative jobs for their livelihood.

With the onset of the south-west monsoon a month ago, there is gradual increase in the inflow into the Stanley reservoir since June 15. Following this, the fishermen returned and set up temporary camps on the banks of the river.

The realisation of water remained beyond 30,000 cusecs mark since July 11 and it rose to more than 45,000 cusecs on Saturday.

As it was not safe to go for fishing in the small boats and coracles, a majority of the inland fishermen have remained indoors for the last five days.

A good number of tourists visits the Mettur and the surrounding villages to have a glimpse of the dam and River Cauvery. They particularly prefer to take lunch in the hotels and eateries in the town and villages such as Pannavadi.

The delicious items prepared using the fresh inland water fish always proved an attraction to the visiting tourists. On many occasions, the eateries in the villages entertain their guests by catching fresh fish and preparing dishes instantly.

The fresh fish stalls also serve fish food items in the evenings. These eateries and street food stalls are not attracting usual customers as fish items have become scarce.

Disappointed customers

A.Mohideen, a civil engineer of Salem city, says that he is totally disappointed as he could not get regular fresh water fish dishes in his favourite eatery in Pannavadi, which he visited on Saturday.

It may be mentioned that the State Fisheries Department used to regularly release a large number of fish fingerlings in the water spread area of Mettur Dam in a phased manner during the fish breeding season for the benefit of the inland fishermen.

The department used to release the ‘catla’ and ‘rohu’ fingerlings, hatched in the Government Fish Farm in Mettur Dam.

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