Fishermen of Ganjam district Saturday detained at least 16 men of Vishakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh who had trespassed into Orissa coast in two trawlers to catch fish. They seized the vessels – Nokamma-8271 and Naveen-763 – and brought the intruding fishermen to Gopalpur port. Later, IIC Ashok Parida of Aryapali Marine police station and additional fishery officer (Marine) Khetrabasi Behera were informed about the incident. A case would be filed with Marine police over the illegality, Behera said. Based on the complaint, legal action would be taken against the wrongdoers, IIC Parida said. The AP trawlers have allegedly made it a habit to cross the border and enter Orissa water to catch fish. There are instances of fish mafia of AP assaulting Ganjam fishermen when the latter opposed the illegality. They even damaged their motorized boats in the past, a report said. Meanwhile, members of Ganjam Matsyajibi Sangh, an outfit of fishermen strongly reacted to the incident and raised the issue with the collector and fishery department. It may be noted that a meeting had been held between the members of two trawler owners’ associations of Vizag and representatives of 27 villages with thick population of fishermen in Ganjam district June 13 at Gopalpur in the presence of AFO. AP trawlers were asked to stay beyond 20 km of Orissa coast till June 20 when another meeting was scheduled. The fishermen of Ganjam caught the trawlers as they breached the condition. It was alleged that some mafia of Ganjam district in connivance with AP fish traders catch fish in Orissa sea waters. The mafia manages to make mega bucks overnight by transporting them to other places leaving small fish traders of the district in the lurch, it was learnt.

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