Workers and owners of mechanised and beach landing crafts observed a day-long fishing harbour shutdown in protest against the use of high-speed China-made engines by some of their fraternity here on Monday.
For about five hours, they staged a demonstration and demanded a ban on plying of boats with high-speed engines depriving them of fish catch. Nearly 1,900 mechanised boats, 4,500 beach landing crafts and fibre catamaran (teppa) boats across the State use engines with a horse power of 10 to 168.
Industry sources said out of 17,400 boats nearly 130 mechanised boats had changed to high power engines with 200 to 280 HP leading to loss of catch to 95% of boat owners during the past three years.
Ban in T.N., Kerala
Post ban period, a majority of boat owners complained that they were not able to meet their operational cost due to poor catch. Boat owners’ association leaders P.C. Appa Rao and Ch. Satyanrayana Murthy said due to high-speed engines, fishing grounds in Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Naidu got exhausted. They said T.N. government had already banned use of engines exceeding 180 HP and demanded imposing of such a regulation in A.P.
When contacted, Assistant Director of Fisheries P. Laxman Rao told
that they were in touch with the Commissioner of Fisheries Rama Sankar Naik and an executive order to regulate high-speed engines would be introduced very shortly to safeguard the interest of majority of the fishermen.
Mr. Laxman Rao admitted that the use of high-speed engines by fishermen was depriving livelihood to many others as the boats with such engines ply at a higher speed and catch the fish very quickly.
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