Thoothukudi: Repeated violation of fishing rules by mechanised fishing boats has triggered an indefinite strike by the country craft fishermen.
Blaming the 37 unregistered mechanised boats that ventured on a multi-day fishing trip last week, violating fishing norms stipulated in the TN marine fishing regulation Act 1983, the Thoothukudi district country craft fishermen staged a demonstration demanding stringent action against such violations.
Suspecting clandestine official support from the fisheries department to violators, president of the district country craft fishermen, S J Gayes, said that even such violators also enjoyed all concessions due to registered boats including subsidised fuel and free anchorage, and this caused a great loss to the state exchequer.
Hence, county craft fishermen here demand that no unregistered boats be allowed to be anchored at the Thoothukudi fishing harbour.
Responding to the issue between the country craft fishermen and the mechanised boat fishermen, Thoothukudi district collector, Sandeep Nanduri, said that the above said 37 unregistered boats have been impounded, and cases registered against the owners.
In future, they would be allowed to fish only if they are certified by the Marine Mercantile department, since these boats are also over-sized - above 24-metres-long, and have higher horse power engines, not stipulated in the Tamil Nadu marine fishing regulation act-.
“Boat owners with higher horse power engines have been strictly instructed to alter the engine to adhere to norms,” said the collector, who too added that the district administration is ready to assist the boat owners avail loans from the Tamil Nadu minorities economic development corporation and under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) to meet out the expenses in altering boat engines.
A special additional director-level officer from the state fisheries ministry too, is said to have held talks with owners of unregistered mechanised boats here, in a bid to defuse the situation....