Photo Credits: Santosh Mirajkar
Hostile navigation conditions at River Sal mouth played spoil sport for boat owners operating from the Cutbona fishing jetty as majority of them dropped anchor the jetty on Day one of the new fishing season.
Only around six vessels, four fishing and two purse seining vessels are believed to have crossed the river mouth to venture out in the Arabian Sea. Sources, however, said these vessels will have to go to other jetties as the conditions at the River Sal mouth are not conducive for returning back to Cutbona jetty.
Chairman of the Cutbona Fisheries Society Vinay Tari told ‘The Goan’ that around 40-50 fishing vessels, including trawling and purse seine vessels were all geared up to venture out in the sea on day one of the fishing season on Sunday, but in vain. “The conditions at the River Sal mouth were very hostile on Sunday. Fishing vessels, whose migrant crew have reported at the Cutbona fishing jetty, were all geared up to sail, but the conditions at the river mouth, made their to do a rethink”, he said.
Tari pointed out that after a long wait in the morning, around six fishing vessels went out into the sea via the river mouth around noon. He, however, hastened to add that it would not be possible for these vessels to return back to Cutbona jetty with the catch.
“Many a boat owner, who wanted to follow the six fishing vessels did a re-think after they realized that the conditions at the river mouth are not conducive to return back”, he added.
Former Cutbona Boat Owners Union president Cypriano Cardozo said the situation at the River Sal mouth is not conducive for navigation. “Let us wait and see how the situation unfolds in the coming days”, he said, adding that the situation is such that fishing vessels may not be able to venture out in the sea via the river mouth at least for the next 2-3 days.
Boat owner Savio D’Silva, a former president of the Union, echoed similar sentiment. He said the conditions at the river mouth prevented many vessels from starting the new fishing season from Sunday.
Miguel Rodrigues, of Joe Corn fisheries, also pointed out that many a vessel, whose migrant crew has already arrived at the jetty, could not venture out in view of the prevailing hostile conditions at the river Sal mouth.
MARGAO: A section of Cutbona boat owners have cried foul over what they called as the failure of the Fisheries Department to implement uniform policy for obtaining passes from the department before getting the permission to buy fuel from the pumps at the jetty.
In fact, the Chairman of the Cutbona Fisheries Society, Vinay Tari and former Cutbona Boat Owners Union president Savio D’Silva told media persons at Cutbona jetty that the Fisheries officials insisted on the boat owners obtaining passes to sail before they could procure fuel from the pumps.
They claimed that this rule was not implemented uniformly across the jetties in the state, adding that the fisheries officials only implemented the same at Cutbona.
Tari explained that they have no objection to the provision that the boat owners obtain the passes to venture out in the sea and procure the fuel. “We have been observing this norm for several years, but we have been told that this provision was thrown to the winds at some of the fishing jetties”, he claimed.
Tari further said the fisheries should be lenient in the first few days of the new season when it comes to obtaining documents from the migrant crew. “One should understand that we undergo a lot of hardships to get the migrant crew work on the fishing vessels. There are instances when the crew comes only with Photostat copies of the documents such as Aadhaar card. If the fisheries department insists on the original Aadhaar card, we will not be able to start the new season”, he said, adding that the department should grant time for the owners to submit the documents of the crew.