Fishermen at loggerheads over berthing space in Kasimedu

They allege that mechanised vessels are occupying wharfs meant for smaller fibre boats

Two boat associations are at loggerheads over space to berth their craft in the Kasimedu fishing harbour. A group of around 50 mechanised boats that are occupying the low-level wharf meant for smaller fibre boats is causing the problem.

“They are refusing to move and when the winds are heavy or the tide is high, the smaller boats get hit and damaged. Due to lack of space, these fibre boats are berthed some 5-6 boats away, which leads to men falling into the water and getting hurt due to the stones and rods at the bottom. There are at least 10 wharfs for the larger mechanized boats that number around 1,000,” explained Nanjil Ravi of Akhila Indhiya Meenavar Sangam.

M. Vijesh, who represents the small boats, said the issue should be amicably resolved and that they did not want to create a ruckus over it.

“They are our brethren. They should understand our problems. A section of the boats did move out. But some boats are still berthing here. This will cause damage to the wharf too since it cannot withstand the loading and unloading operations,” he said.

The Fisheries Department had sent notices to the owners of the boats and also to the association representing them. Their diesel subsidy, too, was suspended for a certain time. However, they managed to get that lifted.

A meeting with the association members has been planned, said a source in the department.

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