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Off-shore breakwater project: Fishing community apprehensive

The fisherman community has raised apprehensions on the upcoming off-shore breakwater project and the plan to use geo tube technology for coastal protection.

Published: 04th June 2021 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2021 02:12 PM   |  A+A-

(Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

By Express News Service

The fisherman community has raised apprehensions on the upcoming off-shore breakwater project and the plan to use geo tube technology for coastal protection. A section of the fishermen has taken it up with the chief minister and fisheries minister urging the government to rethink their plan and carry out proper study before constructing offshore breakwaters using geo tube for protecting shorelines.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Trivandrum Kambavala Matsya Thozhilali Federation president Tony Oliver said that offshore breakwater projects implemented in other places were not successful. “The state government should have a rethink on the offshore breakwater project which is estimated to cost around Rs 19 crores. The offshore breakwater system implemented by the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Tamil Nadu was a total failure. The government shouldn’t waste money on such an impractical project which would destroy the livelihood of thousands of fishermen,” said Tony.

He said that ever since the launch of the Vizhinjam Port Project, around 250 metres of shoreline from Poonthura to Cheriyathura were lost. “Groynes constructed along Poonthura - Cheriyathura have proven to be effective and the government should extend groyne construction instead of offshore breakwater projects. Instead of experimenting the authorities should extend the groyne construction from Cheriyathura to Veli and protect the livelihood and properties of fishermen families” said Tony Oliver.  He said that the project would adversely affect the livelihood of around 4,500 Kambavala fishermen. 

There are around 87 kambavala units in Poonthura that offer a livelihood for thousands of fishermen. “The offshore breakwater would destroy the livelihood of thousands of traditional fishermen who survive on Kambavala fishing. The breakwater offshore would make it impossible for these fishermen to do fishing,” said Tony Oliver.  

However, the Harbour Engineering Department (HED) claimed that the offshore breakwater wouldn’t affect traditional fishing. “The offshore breakwater would help increase fish resources and would only benefit them. It could be a problem for trawlers, which is prohibited in shallow waters. The project would be closely watched and studied by NIOT,” said an official of the Harbour Engineering Department.

The official said that a meeting was held with various organisations attached to the fishermen community. 
“We had reached a consensus with them before launching the project and they had even visited the offshore breakwater system implemented at Tamil Nadu. They were convinced about the project and wanted us to go ahead with the project,” said an official of HED.



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