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Country boat fishermen blamed for poor catch

Rameswaram fishermen, who were jubilant when they ventured into the sea, on Wednesday, expecting a good haulafter the end of fishing ban period, were disappointed as they did not get the expected catch on Thursday.

Country boat fishermen blamed for poor catch
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Rameswaram fishermen, who went into the sea with lot of hopes, returned with a poor catch

Madurai

It was way behind the usual catch and most of the fishermen could get only 100 kg of prawns, which was no way near their target after the lull in fishing activities for nearly two months. However, the fishermen blamed the country boats counterparts for the dwindling catch. 

Jesuraj, president, Rameswaram Mechanised Boat Association, said that fishing ban period is enforced to enhance marine resources and only mechanised boats are restricted from fishing during the period but not the country boats. 

“Earlier, the country boats did not deploy engines and stayed within three nautical miles in the sea. But, now they too have started using engines and go beyond 12 nautical miles. The purpose of fishing ban will be defeated, if the engine-fitted country boats too are not banned from fishing during the period.  Their continuance will not allow conservation of marine resources,” said Jesuraj. 

Moreover, the lower price for prawns fixed by the prawn syndicate has also brought down their profit margin. Before the ban period a kg of prawn was sold for Rs 600 and now, it is being sold only for Rs 450 a kg. 

“So, even if fishermen get a catch of 100 kg of prawns, they would get only Rs 45,000.  But their daily expenses would easily cross Rs 70,000,” he added. Meanwhile, Thoothukudi fishermen, who observed a 61-day fishing ban period, ventured into the sea on Thursday morning. More than 240 mechanised boats ventured into the sea from Thoothukudi fishing harbour.

4 fishermen rescued 

Four fishermen from Kottaipattinam were rescued from mid-sea as their boat capsized on Wednesday. It is said, around 900 fishermen of Kottaippattinam ventured into sea in mechanised boats. Four of Kottaipattinam - Anbu, Sahul, Sayed Ali and Abu - were fishing 16 nautical miles south from that shore. Suddenly,  bottom of their boat developed a crack and capsized. They jumped into the sea and sent a SOS. They were rescued by another team of fishermen. 

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