Minister promises immediate action
Fishers have reiterated their demand for help to remove the debris of sunken boats off the coast of Kochi, where six fishing boats have sunk during the course of a month.
The most recent incident involved Kutty Aandavan, a gillnet boat from Nagapattinam, which ventured out from the Kochi harbour on October 30. Fishers on board were saved by those in the vicinity of the site, north-west of the LNG terminal on Puthuvype island.
Efforts are on to bring ashore the remains of another boat Ashiqmon that sank off the Kochi coast on August 31. The trawling boat has been hauled and brought close to the channel where passenger boats operate, said Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi, an independent fishers’ union.
St. Antony, an inboard engine traditional boat, sank in the vicinity of the above accidents on September 1, but the vessel is yet to be retrieved. The boat sank after it ran into the remains of another boat that had sunk on May 27, said Mr. George, citing the cause of a series of accidents in the same fishing channel.
Meanwhile, Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian, responding to a submission by K.N. Unnikrishnan, promised immediate action to remove the debris of sunken boats.
Mr. Unnikrishnan had underlined the need for a permanent arrangement for removing the debris of sunken boats to prevent accidents. The Minister said the Fisheries Department, district administration, Cochin Port Trust, Kerala Maritime Board, Hydrographic Survey Department, and the Disaster Management Authority would be involved in drawing up a plan of action address the matter.
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