THRISSUR: The fishermen community in the state is all set to venture into the deep sea with hopes of bumper catch, as the 47-day trawling ban came to an end on Thursday midnight. Since no major ‘chaakara’ phenomenon was sighted along the coastline of the state during the trawling ban period, the fishermen are hoping a bountiful harvest this time.
Usually, chaakara, a peculiar marine phenomenon in which a large number of prawns and small fishes throng together during a particular season at particular areas as a result of mud bank formations, is common along the coastlines of the state during the period of trawling ban and fishermen haul tonnes of shrimp and other small pelagic fishes, on the removal of ban.
Kerala Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi president Charles George said that mechanised boat owners and fishermen have berthed around 3,500 mechanised boats at various fishing harbours in the state since the beginning of trawling ban on June 15, which would venture into the sea from Thursday midnight. But the apprehension of fishermen community on catching the small pelagic fishes has not been addressed by the state government so far, he said.
As per the information received, the traditional fishermen and boat owners have equipped themselves with small-sized nets for hauling small pelagic fishes from the sea, which would drain the fishing wealth and also adversely impact the healthy ecosystem in the sea, George said.
If the government fails to intervene in the issue at the earliest, there are chances for conflicts in the coastline areas over this issue, he said.
Meanwhile, the fishing harbours in the central Kerala, which have been witnessing hectic activities like dry docking of boats, repair works, overhauling of engines, repainting and mending of nets for the past few weeks, wore a festive look with the fishermen arranging firework display and percussion instrumental music on the eve of the end of the trawling ban.
More than 800 fishing boats were all set to cruise into the sea as the clock struck 12 on the midnight of Thursday, at Munambam harbour, and there was huge demand for ice blocks and fuel as the boat operators wanted to accumulate enough stocks for a two-week voyage.