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Fishing harbor in Chennai to be handed over to the state fisheries department

Over three hundred tons of plastic waste have been removed from the Kasimedu fishing harbor facilitating smooth movement of fishing trawlers when they arrive with the catches, the fisheries department said. Work is on to fill up excavated portions of the harbor with 50 truckloads of sand which will give a face lift to the harbor situated next to the Chennai Port. Yielding to the persistent demand of the local fishermen the management of the fishing harbor will soon be handed over to the state fisheries department from Chennai Port.

This is in line with the policy decision announced by the state government in the Assembly that use of plastic bags will be banned in Tamil Nadu from next year.

On the occasion of World Ocean Day on Friday, the fisheries department held program on the need for keeping the sea free of plastic. Essay writing and elocution competitions under themes related to plastic pollution were held in government schools across the city. Competitions were also held for visitors at the Chetpet Eco Park on Friday. 

A spokesman of Indian Fishermen Association said, “The Kasimedu harbour has not witnessed such a large-scale clean-up for more than two decades. During the ongoing 61-day fishing ban period, with help of volunteers, we removed about 4 tonnes of plastic waste. But this is the first time; the government has taken up cleaning work.” 

Kasimedu fishermen complained that the management committee under the Chennai port trust has failed to maintain the fishing harbour. Since 1996, there has been an persistent demand that the maintenance of the harbor should be handed over to the state fisheries department. In 2013, the state government gave the harbour a makeover but poor maintenance by Chennai port management has raised the need for repairs again. 

Plastic and other waste piled up in the harbour as conservancy workers were not allowed inside without the consent from management committee under the Chennai port. There is no water facility in the harbour. Toilets do not function and lights bulbs need replacement.” 

Yielding to the demand of fishermen, the management of the harbor will soon to be transferred to the state fisheries department. “Once the harbour comes under the state government‘s management, it will be easy to mobilise funds for development. 

Meanwhile, the fisheries department is making use of seasonal ban on fishing for the local fishermen to conduct skill development programs. Fishermen, who are offshore, took part in sea safety and fish-handling programs by Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training.

 

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