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Fishing jetty becomes scrap yard in the heart of Chennai

Kassimedu fishering harbour meant for berthing of fishing vessels is slowly turning into a scrap yard in total violation of Coastal regulation zones rules and regulations posing a serious pollution threat to marine life in the Chennai coast, according to fishermen unions.

The coast battered by massive oil slick for most part of the year is now threatened with practice of scrapping vessels in the fishing harbour meant for berthing vessels.

The South Indian Fishermen's Welfare association has filed a complaint with the State Pollution Control board demanding immediate stop to the illegal scrapping of vessels in harbours not meant for it.

In a month long operation undertaken recently illegally in the harbour a fishing vessel Rising Sun weighing about a thousand tonnes was scrapped and the demolished pieces were quietly taken out of harbour in unconventional means of transport including auto rickshaws. Two other vessels are in the queue for scrapping and it is time that the pollution board took note of this illegal activity and put an end to it.

The association sources said large quantities of mercury spewed into the sea along with asbestos debris from the scrapped vessel. Pollution control board should take note of the situation especially when two more vessels are likely to be scrapped from the fishing harbour shortly.

Chennai coast faced a serious threat to marine life early this year following the oil spill. The spill has already caused serious damage to marine life in the area. If Kasimedu fishing harbour situated next to Chennai port becomes a regular scrap yard, marine life will soon become extinct in the area said an office bearer of the fishermen's association.

The government has earmarked the Valinokkam port in Ramanthapuram coast in South Tamil Nadu for scrapping vessels. But the boat owner does not want to go all the way to that port since it involves additional expenditure for t

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