Plea to ensure safety of deep-sea fishers, vessels

Association demands provision of latest communication and safety equipment to fishing community

All India Deep Sea Fishers’ Association has appealed to the government to ensure the safety of deep-sea fishers in the light of the recent series of accidents and loss of lives and fishing boats.

In a memorandum submitted to Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian, the association listed a few recent accidents, including the one in which fishing vessel Andavan Thunai, which ventured out from Kochi on April 29, was caught in the cyclonic storm Tauktae and sank off the Lakshadweep islands on May 14. Fishers on two boats had witnessed the accident. However, there were misleading reports in a section of the media that the fishers in the vessel had returned safe though there is no news of them as of now.

In another incident, Ajmer Shah, a boat that left the Beypore harbour on May 5 was lost in the sea, and search operations are still on. Six boats and 69 fishermen on them, which left Kochi and were caught in cyclone Ockhi are still missing.

Under these circumstances, the authorities must step in to provide the latest communication and safety equipment to the fishing community. All fishing vessels should be monitored strictly to ensure their safety, the association said.

It also demanded that the dormitory at the Thoppumpady fishing harbour be repaired immediately, and that its maintenance and management be handed over to workers’ groups.

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