Fishermen from Puducherry ‘threaten’ Cuddalore officials

Authorities tried to prevent them from using banned purse seine nets

High drama prevailed off the Cuddalore coast on Tuesday after hundreds of Puducherry fishermen put up a resistance when authorities from Cuddalore tried to prevent them from using banned purse seine nets.

Official sources said the fishermen who had set out in 10 boats cast purse seine nets around five nautical miles off Devanampattinam coast in Cuddalore.

On information, a team of officials from Cuddalore, accompanied by the Coastal Security Group police, tried to impound the trawlers and seize the nets.

However, another group of fishermen from the Union Territory who were using fibre glass boats formed a cordon, triggering tension.

They reportedly threatened the officials and prevented them from discharging their duties.

The official team were easily outnumbered and they later issued a stern warning through a public address system to the fishermen to leave the area immediately.

A senior official said that most of the big boats were unlicensed and mainly used purse seine nets.

“We have taken photographs of the fishermen and will be sharing them with our counterparts in Puducherry to take action against them,” he said.

While purse seine fishing was banned in both Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory, fishermen from Puducherry continued the activity saying the authorities had approved it, the official said.

The department has already banned the use of purse seine nets and warned fishermen of the suspension of subsidy and registration of fishing vessels.

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