Seeking permission for allowing mechanised boats from all parts of Tamil Nadu to berth at Tharuvaikulam fish landing centre for selling their catches, a petition was submitted on Monday. Around 250 mechanised boats operating from Tharuvaikulam are involved in multiday deep sea stay fishing even as 150 fiberglass country boats are also going in for fishing from this coastal hamlet for ‘daily fishing’. Besides selling their catch at Tharuvaikulam fish landing centre on returning to the shore after a 15-day-long stay in the sea, the mechanized boat owners sell the harvested fishes in other fishing harbours of Tamil Nadu and Kerala also.

However, the mechanised boat owners of Tharuvaikulam do not allow the mechanised boats from places to berth the boats in the Tharuvaikulam fish landing centre to sell their catch. “If the mechanised boats from other places are also allowed in the fish landing centre built by the State government, it will substantially increase the volume of fish trade and allied business in Tharuvaikulam. If we open the fish landing centre for boats from other places, boats operating from Nagapattinam, Pamban and Mookkaiyoor will also come here to sell their catch as they will get better price,” said R.S. Pandi, a member of the Tharuvaikulam village committee and Antony Churchill of St. Nicholas Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association.

When large number of mechanised boat owners and fish traders from various southern districts made an appeal to the Tharuvaikulam village committee to allow the mechanised boats from all places to berth their boats and sell the catch at Tharuvaikulam, the Committee met them on Sunday (January 22) to discuss the plea. And, the meeting decided to allow the mechanised boats from all districts of Tamil Nadu to berth at Tharuvaikulam fish landing centre and sell the catches.

However, it was opposed by some of the boat owners saying that the existing 200-metre-long fish landing centre was not sufficient to handle all 250 mechanised boats of Tharuvaikulam. “Hence, the boats coming from other places would cause problems in the fish landing centre and should not be allowed to berth at Tharuvaikulam to sell the fish,” said A. Nirmal Raj, president of St. Michael Mechanised Boat Owners and Workers’ Association. Pressing their demands, the Tharuvaikulam village committee members and the opposing group submitted separate petitions to Collector K. Senthil Raj, Superintendent of Police L. Balaji Saravanan and fisheries department officials on Monday.