With the 47-day trawl ban coming into effect from Tuesday midnight, the Vizhinjam fishing harbour is set to witness a heavy influx of traditional fishermen from various parts of the district. Besides steps to ensure the safety of these fishermen, the law enforcers will focus their efforts on preventing any possible threat to maintenance of law and order on the harbour premises. “With most other coastal areas in the region witnessing rough seas during the monsoon season, a large number of fishermen and vendors from places as far as Chinnathurai in Kanyakumari to Anchuthengu normally depend on the fish landing centre here. This is because the harbour is relatively secured from the vagaries of the monsoon, says Balaraman, a fisherman from the locality. High tides recently However, despite such advantages, there have been instances in the recent times when fishing boats were damaged by unusually rough waves. “Of late, we have been experiencing various difficulties caused by strong tides. But the authorities have turned a blind eye towards such problems faced by us. While we have been assured by many of financial assistance to overcome such losses, such promises were yet to be fulfilled, Varghese, a boat owner, said. While the district has a coastline of 78 km, not many mechanised boats operate from the region. However, a section of fish workers have alleged that bottom trawling had been undertaken during the trawl ban periods in the past under the guise of fishing using the traditional vessels. Destructive techniques “Such destructive fishing techniques would negate the objectives of the trawl ban, which is implemented to conserve marine resources during the spawning season of various varieties of fish, including shrimps and oil sardines. The fishing community will not benefit if the authorities fail to ensure the proper implementation of the trawl ban, Peter from Adimalathura, said.

2016, The Hindu