Deep-sea fishing ban endangers livelihood of Mannar fishermen

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 16:14 GMT]
Hundreds of fisher families in Mannar are in the risk of starvation as fishermen are not allowed to go for deep sea fishing, Pallimunai St.Lucia Fisheries Society said in a memorandum sent to the Mannar Government Agent and Mannar Bishop Wednesday. Deep-sea fishing is banned by the Sri Lanka Navy from the month of December last year, the memorandum said.

In Pallimunai 650 fishermen from 538 families, 122 fishermen of 64 families of Periyakadai and 745 fishermen from 518 families from Panankattikottu had been engaged in deep-sea fishing till last month, sources said.

These fishing hamlets are located around Mannar town. 118 fibreglass boats and 68 canoes are in Pallimunai. Nine fibreglass boats and 66 canoes are in Periyakadai. 92 fibreglass boats, 60 canoes and 20 catamarans are in Panankattikottu, fisheries sources said.

Meanwhile, SLN has imposed restriction on night fishing by Mannar fishermen with effect from January 17 Tuesday. They have been asked to go to night fishing before 6 p.m. and return next morning after 7 a.m. They have been strictly ordered not to return to the shore between the stipulated time after night fishing, Sunny Village Navy Camp officer Nihal Chandrasiri has informed local fisheries societies regarding the restriction, fisheries sources said.

The SLN has instructed Mannar fishermen to obtain special passes for fishing. They should submit their applications with two photographs through their respective Grama Sevaka Officers with the recommendation of their fisheries societies before January 31, navy authorities said.

Mannar fishermen have also been instructed not to go beyond 2 km nautical km from the sea for night fishing. This restriction is applied for daytime fishing too, navy sources said.


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