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Retain 45-day ban, fishermen urge government

The 45-day ban period on fishing in the Eastern coast is set to commence from Saturday, but fishermen have demanded the State government not to extend it to 60 days.

Retain 45-day ban, fishermen urge government
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Fishermen at Rameswaram have started repairing their nets ahead of the ban period (Photo: Bala)

Madurai

To preserve marine resources and to facilitate breeding of marine organisms, a 45-day ban on fishing is imposed by the State government between April 15 and May 29. During this period, a section of fishermen repairs their nets, boats and other fishing resources, while another section goes to other parts of the country to work.

This year, the fishing ban period is set to commence on Saturday. The most significant thing is the State government is trying to extend the ban period to 60 days with State Fisheries Minister, D Jayakumar informing the media to that effect. He said this will benefit the fishermen as more number of fish will breed during the period and marine resources will increase. 

However, the decision has been met with stiff resistance from fishermen for various reasons. Justin, a fisherman leader from Rameswaram, claimed that they are given 90 fishing passes per year but due to increased vigilance from the Sri Lankan Navy they could not go to the sea for more than 60 days. 

A fisherman from Rameswaram, Sagayam, claimed that the ban extends only to mechanised boats and country boats are exempted from it, but most of the country boats are fitted with powerful motors in which the breeding period is disturbed completely. 

“The government without extending the ban on fishing period should ban the motor-fitted country boats from fishing,” demanded Sagayam.

Kebinston, a fishermen representative from Thoothukudi, claimed that fishing ban period for Western coast commences only in June and during the fishing ban in Eastern coast, fishermen from Kerala enter the Eastern coast and disturb the fish breeding phase. “Hence they should be banned,” he added.

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