During the third round of talks between representatives of fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka ended in Chennai on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu fishermen had put forth a seven-point charter of requests to their Lankan counterparts
Giving details of the seven-point proposals, N Devadas, president of the Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association told Express: “We told them that the Indian fishermen have already stopped using destructive nets like Retta Madi and Suruku Madi and have decided to stop using Thangoosi Valai (monofilament nets).” Sathasivam further said a high-level conference would be held in North Eastern Province of Sri Lanka in April first week in which all fishermen representatives, MPs, members of the NE Provincial Council and other authorities would take part.
Decisions on the requests of Tamil Nadu fishermen would be taken at that conference and they would be conveyed to the Governments of Sri Lanka, India and Tamil Nadu and ultimately, the decisions would be announced in May.
Stressing that they do not agree to the use of trawlers by Tamil Nadu fishermen in Lankan waters, he said pair-trawling and purse seine nets and trawler boats had been are banned in Sri Lanka. Since Tamil Nadu fishermen use these nets, they had to discuss it with their colleagues in Lanka to arrive at a decision.
Sources said when the bottom trawling issue came up, the Tamil Nadu fishermen had sought three year time to shift to deep-sea fishing.
Apart from this, former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s demand for allocating Rs 975 crore towards a comprehensive special package for diversification of bottom trawlers into Deep Sea Tuna Long Liners at a cost of Rs 975 crore was under the consideration of the Centre.
Shiv Darshan Singh was among officials who represented the Central government. Director General, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Sri Lanka, MCL Fernando led the Lankan delegation of officials. (New Indian Express)