‘Will appeal against SC order on purse seine nets’: Fisherfolk representatives
Fisherfolk representatives from across the state resolved to continue their opposition to purse seine fishing nets on Wednesday.
Published: 02nd February 2023 06:47 AM | Last Updated: 02nd February 2023 06:47 AM | A+A A-
MAYILADUTHURAI: Fisherfolk representatives from across the state resolved to continue their opposition to purse seine fishing nets on Wednesday. At a meeting convened at Tharangambadi, the representatives passed crucial resolutions to fight the Supreme Court verdict in favour of allowing the controversial net, pointing to the lack of possibilities in following directions.
Fisherfolk representatives from 11 coastal districts - Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Karaikal, Cuddalore, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, and Kanniyakumari participated in the meeting.
The SC verdict in favour of using the purse seine net with conditions has made the majority of the fishing community unhappy. G Devan, a fisher representative from Tharangambadi said, “The coastal districts have decided to file petitions, both independently or with another, appealing against the Supreme Court order. We will point to the impossibility of following directions such as fishing within specific areas and specific times which may prompt purse seine net users to violate those directions and affect the rest of us.
We also aim to highlight issues and other conflicts related to law and order that could possibly arise.”
The representatives also passed resolutions to block fishing for the whole village if anyone took up a purse seine net for fishing or indulged in other unsustainable practices like ‘pair-trawling’ and ‘illegal high-speed engines’.
T Nagooran, a fisher representative from Samiyarpettai in Cuddalore district said, “We will protest as villages, as a district or across the state against the usage of purse seine nets. We demand the government not to let people resume purse seine net fishing.”
In a verdict pronounced on January 24, the Supreme Court allowed usage of the purse seine net under conditions such as using them only twice a week - Monday and Thursday, and at specific times between 8 am and 6 pm. The court also ruled that the users should fish within the Exclusive Economic Zone (within 200 nautical miles from shore), but outside the Territorial Sea waters (outside 12 nautical miles from shore).
A purse seine net is designed to construct an enclosing formation around a fish school and used to be preferred by fishers to catch sardines, oil sardines and mackerels. They stretch about 2000 meters in length and cost about Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakh. The State government had banned their usage for over two decades as they were considered unsustainable and a threat to biodiversity.