While one section of fishermen urge the state government to permit the purse seine net, another group oppose it. Those who oppose the use of purse seine net claim that marine resources would be destroyed if it was allowed to be used.
“After discussions with officials of Fisheries Department, talks will be held with both the sections of fishermen to arrive at an amicable solution to the purse seine net issue,: said the Collector, after the inspection.
“Usage of purse seine net, pair trawling and speed engines are banned in Tamil Nadu as they cause an adverse impact on marine organisms. Purse seine nets are woven so tight that they will not leave even a minute gap which will result in even fingerlings being caught and marine resources will be destroyed,” RV Kumaravel from Vangakadal Meenavar Sangam told DT Next.
The purse seine net issue has been a topic of debate for long as fishermen are divided over its use. While a section of fishermen argue that the use of purse seine was banned by the state from February, 2000, those supporting it claim that the purse seine nets do not violate rules and it was being used by fishermen across the country.
“According to Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act of 1983, the hole of the fishing nets should not be less than 40 mm. In purse seine and pair trawling the size of the holes are more than 50 mm. Moreover, the purse seine nets are widely used in various places in Tamil Nadu such as Pulicat, Chennai and various other regions. The issue is not about use of purse seine nets, but about the catch as a section of fishermen who could not catch more are envying on the fishermen who manage to get more fish,” said Nanjil P Ravi, National Executive president of National Union of Fishermen.
K Bharathi, president, South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association, said that though the purse seine nets are banned, fishermen are unnecessarily targeted over this issue. First officials should get a thorough idea about the issue before targeting fishermen and a detailed study should be carried out on usage of various types of nets.
Meanwhile, officials attached to Fisheries Department in Ramanthapuram have suspended permission to 13 boats, which were found using purse seine nets. In Nagapattinam district, fishermen attached to 13 coastal hamlets staged protest and did not go for fishing for three days demanding permission to use purse seine nets.
The situation is also tense in Cuddalore district as fishermen staged 12-hour road roko and protest.