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Fishers oppose SC order allowing purse seine nets; to appeal

As many as 176 countries depend on fishery resources and most of them abandoned purse seine fishing.

MADURAI: Many fishermen and boat owners in the southern region are up against the interim Supreme Court ruling allowing use of purse seine nets. They fear a probable decline in fishery resources following the order.

The Supreme Court allowed purse seine fishing beyond territorial waters of Tamil Nadu and within the Exclusive Economic Zone twice a week for a stipulated time, imposing other conditions.

SJ Gayes, president, Thoothukudi District Country Boat Fishermen Association, said several associations have joined hands to appeal against the interim order.

Purse seine fishing was banned with effect from March 25, 2000, along Tamil Nadu as per Government Order- ‘40’. Moreover, it would not be possible for purse seiners to comply with the conditions imposed by the court that allowed purse seine fishing beyond 12 nautical miles offshore only by registered boats from 8 am to 6 pm, on Monday and Thursday.

N Devadoss, president, Rameswaram Cooperative Fishermen Association, said it’s ridiculous that the government imposed a ban on purse seine fishing years ago and fine amounts were also imposed, but such a method is allowed now.

As many as 176 countries depend on fishery resources and most of them abandoned purse seine fishing.

While most of the countries have been conducting annual fishery surveys, no such survey has been done in India over the last 10 years, Gayes told DT Next on Wednesday.

F Robert Villavarayar, president, Vadabaaham Country Boat Fishermen Association, Thoothukudi, said, “Not traditional fishers, but only big giants could engage in purse seine fishing, because it requires expensive, technologically equipped crafts with GPS.

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