Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao addressing fishermen at the Collectorate in Ramanathapuram on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: L_Balachandar

Fishermen blame officials for permitting use of banned fishnets


Despite submitting petitions for many years, the officials at the Department of Fisheries have not been taking any tangible action against those using banned fishnets and as a result, the entire fishing sector was facing threat, said CITU affiliated fishermen association secretary M. Karunamoorthy.

Speaking at the fishermen grievance redressal meeting held at the Collectorate, he charged that the Fisheries Minister and the officials allegedly connived with select fishermen, who were using the banned fishnet knowing well that it caused harm to the environment.

The government should stop fishermen from using the banned nets and also implement the law with an iron hand, he urged. If the officials failed to act now, the fishing industry would face acute problems, Mr. Karunamoorthy claimed.

In his address, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said that the government would look into the grievances of the fishermen and take steps to redress it.

He said that the district had the advantage of a vast sea front measuring 237 kilometres. There were about 180 fisherfolk villages and around 1,500 mechanised boats and another 4,500 country boats in the district. Next to agriculture, fishing sector was a major industry in which thousands of people were engaged in various activities directly and indirectly.

As part of the welfare measures, the government has issued bio-metric cards, identity cards, provided tokens and communication devices to the fishermen. There were other agencies, which monitored the movement of the fishermen setting off to sea.

Stating that the government has been pro-active in dissemination, the Collector said that an App - Thoondil - provided a number of information to fishermen setting off to sea.

Many other fishermen representatives also submitted petitions to Mr. Rao and hoped to get relief. Deputy Director (Fisheries) M. V. Prabavathi, Sub-Collector Dr. Sukaputra, ASP A. Thangavelu and others participated.