Mannar fishermen's woes spotlighted

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 October 2003, 10:27 GMT]
Livelihood of local fishermen of Mannar district are threatened by Indian poachers and migrant fishermen from south of the country, complained representatives of 34 fisheries co-operative societies federation in Mannar district at a conference held Monday at the federation office, sources said.

The conference was summoned to discuss the difficulties confronting the Mannar fishermen from Indian poachers and migrants from south, federation president Mr.Soosaiappu Thuram said.

Fisheries department officials, Mannar Parish Priest Fr.Emilyanuspillai and several others participated, sources said.

Mannar local fishermen are now actively engaged in fishing after two decades of war since the signing of a ceasefire agreement by the Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE.

Indian fishermen enter Mannar Sea in large numbers in their trawlers and deprive the income of local fishermen while depleting the fish stock. In addition, migrant fishermen from Negombo, Chilaw and other fishing villages in the south daily come with their boats transported by lorries to Mannar, construct temporary sheds along the coast and engage in fishing, Mannar fishermen complained at the conference.

"We allowed fifty fishermen from the south last year to fish in Mannar Sea. But this year the number has increased to 165, causing immense problem to local fishermen," Mannar fisheries representatives.

Representatives of migrant fishermen who attended the conference said that they had come to Mannar because of change of monsoon forcing them to abandon fishing in the south.

However the conference ended without taking a final decision on the matter, sources said.

 

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