Protesting Brazilian fishermen block cruise ship

A cruise ship carrying 1,800 passengers was blocked from leaving a Brazilian port on Tuesday by fishermen protesting a government ban on catches of protected species, a spokesman for their union said.

Brasília: A cruise ship carrying 1,800 passengers was blocked from leaving a Brazilian port on Tuesday by fishermen protesting a government ban on catches of protected species, a spokesman for their union said.

The cruise liner Empress, run by Pullmantur and bound for Montevideo, was forced to remain in port at Itajai in the southern state of Santa Catarina during the 30-hour standoff, which began on Monday.

"Some 200 fishermen drew up their vessels to prevent the entry or exit of ships from the port until the government reconsiders the measure forbidding the catching of some species," a spokesman for their trade union Sindipi told a news agency.

"Everyone seems calm, going about various activities everywhere," 28-year-old Marcelo Arashiro, one of the passengers, told web news portal G1 as he waited for the standoff to end.

Port authorities and Brazilian television said the fishermen agreed mid-afternoon to end their protest after receiving a written government commitment to include the industry in talks slated for Thursday on what stocks can be fished.

The current fishing ban covers 90 endangered species. 

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