Traditional fishermen ask for land to anchor boats ahead of new fishing season
Traditional fishermen do not have dedicated land to repair fishing nets, keep nets for drying and drying. |
Huge waves triggered by sea conditions battered the Benaulim coast on Sunday as traditional Benaulim fishermen offered a litany to the Holy Cross ahead of the new fishing season. Sea water has nearly touched the landmass where traditional fishermen anchor their traditional fishing canoes, bringing to the fore the same old question – why is the government not opening up the Fisheries Department acquired land with an area of 53,000 square meters for traditional fishermen?
Currently, fishermen anchor their canoes on land adjoining the shore belonging to the owners due to the lack of space dedicated to traditional fishing activities. Fishermen didn’t mince words when they made a fervent appeal to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Fisheries Minister Nilkhant Harlarnkar and all MPs to step in and save the traditional fishing activity in Benaulim .
“We no longer take the risk of anchoring our vessels on the shore during monsoons for fear that the vessels will be washed out to sea. Last year our fishermen lost two vessels while anchored on the shore Says traditional fisherman, Pele Fernandes.
In this context, Pelé and other fishermen said they had no choice but to anchor the vessels on the private land belonging to the owners with their permission. He asked why anglers have to knock on the owner’s door when 53,000 square meters of land is available and unused in the fishing complex. “The Department of Fisheries had acquired the land for the prawn hatchery as part of a pilot project. The hatchery has now been on the dump for over a decade and a half due to lack of production. It is in the order of things that the government should set aside at least 5,000 square meters of land acquired by the hatchery to anchor the canoes during the monsoons,” he said.
Pelé added: “Traditional fishermen do not have dedicated land to repair fishing nets, keep nets for drying and dry fish. The government should support traditional fishers in the current session of the Assembly and protect the traditional activity.
Call to assembly
Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas, who was invited for the litany by the Benaulim fishermen recalled that the traditional fishermen under the banner of Niz Ramponkarancho Ekvott had submitted a proposal to the government to take local fishermen as stakeholders in the plan proposed by the Department fisheries to develop the hatchery grounds. “We had requested land inside the hatchery project to anchor around 100 canoes, space to dry fish and repair nets and other amenities such as toilets, a community hall for fishermen, etc. .”, did he declare.
The MP pointed out that he had raised the issue during the current session of the Assembly with a plea to support the traditional fishing occupation. “Let the investor who accepts the offer of the Department of Fisheries take the traditional fishermen because the stakeholders give a share of the project to the fishermen. Fishermen’s children are educated and work abroad. They will definitely invest money in the project,” he said.
The MLA has warned that traditional fishers will not allow any project to take place if the government does not protect the interests of local stakeholders, including traditional fishers.