Cyclone dampens New Year celebrations for fisherfolk

Normal fishing activities were expected to resume only from January 3, officials said.

Rameswaram: Protests over detention of five of their colleagues in Sri Lanka and rough sea conditions under the influence of severe cyclone `Thane` have brought a
sour end to the year for the fishermen of Rameswaram in south Tamil Nadu as they could not go for fishing for several days.

Fishermen here were cooling their heels on the shores
since the beginning of the month demanding the release of the
five and were unable to put out to sea for fishing in the past
one week following the rough sea conditions and inclement
weather, dampening Christmas and New Year celebrations.

"We have not been going to fishing from December 18 (when
the protest was intensified for the release of the five
fishermen). From December 25, we are not able to put out to
sea at all (due to inclement weather)," a fisherman said.

Thane, which initially formed as a low pressure in the Palk
Strait, intensified into the severe cyclonic storm and crossed
the Tamil Nadu coast near Cuddalore yesterday. Fishermen in
the costal districts were advised against venturing into sea.

Besides rough weather, fishermen in Tuticorin have also
been affected in view of the strife between mechanised boat
operators and country-craft fishermen. Though the dispute has
been resolved, they were yet to resume fishing, officials

As forecast by the Met officials, rough sea conditions
continued today also. Fisheries officials said though the
cyclone Thane crossed Tamil Nadu coast, sea and weather
conditions did not improve.

"While everybody will eagerly wait for the New Year, the
fisherfolk will have to encounter difficulties during the
time, an official of a fishermen association said.

Normal fishing activities were expected to resume only from
January 3, officials said.


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