Seven fishermen from Kanniyakumari detained by UAE officials for crossing into territorial waters

newsimageNAGERCOIL/THANJAVUR: As many as seven fishermen, hailing from Kanniyakumari were detained in Dubai, on January 19, for crossing the territorial waters. Speaking to Express, International Fishermen Development Trust (INFIDET) president Justin Antony said that the seven fishermen — Mellus Jarom, Alphonse Maria John, Chinnappan Johnson, John Bosco Ananth, Ramaseyan Arunsingh, Gunaseelan Jehiskhan, Sahaya Raj Sahaya Minu Stephin ventured into the sea from Qatar on January 18 in a fisheries craft named Al Belad. “We have requested for their release and also informed their respective families.” Justin Antony sent a memorandum of request to the Indian Ambassador in Qatar to take action for their release and said, he had received an assurance from the embassy. “The seven fishermen detained in Dubai are in need of help. INFIDET has sent a request mail to the Indian Embassy and also informed the labour officer at the embassy. We hope that they will be released soon,” he added. 6 arrested for pair trawling Coastal Security Group along with the Fisheries Department officials arrested six fishermen and seized two mechanised boats off the coast of Manora near Mallipattinam on Saturday during a patrol against the banned practice of pair trawling. Based on a complaint from country-boat fishermen of Sambaipattinam about the menace of pair trawling, Coastal Security Group personnel and fisheries officials went to sea on two fibre boats and spotted two pair net trawling boats, three nautical miles east of Manora. Upon questioning, they found out that the mechanised boats belonged to one Selvakili, a fisherman from Sethubavachathiram. The six fishermen in these two boats —Anand (22), Kumar (25), Murugesan (28), Murugaiyan (47), Nithyanandam (50) and Kasi (52) — were detained by the Coastal Security Group and later handed over to Fisheries Department. Negative impact In pair trawling, two boats go to sea in tandem parallel to each other and connect one long net to both of them. They swoop down to the bottom, middle and upper layers of the sea for catching a large quantity of fish. Trawling destroys habitats, shelter and suitable breeding areas for the aquatic beings and disturbs the larvae and eggs. The method followed is discriminatory as large amounts of juvenile, low-value fish get caught in the net, which would otherwise fetch the fishermen better revenue if left on their own and allowed to mature and live longer. The country-boat fishermen are the ones who are affected the most due to this practice. The depletion of fishing stock is due to human intervention of taking out the juvenile fish. Hence, the pair trawling system was banned.