Chennai: Tuna harbour to help decongest Kasimedu facility | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: Seafood lovers in north Chennai can soon buy fresh fish from Thiruvottiyur kuppam where the state fisheries department is constructing a tuna long line harbour.
The new facility is aimed at creating an exclusive anchoring area for boats planning to stay out at sea for more than 25 days and to decongest the existing facility at Kasimedu, said a senior fisheries department official.
With regard to seaside work at the upcoming facility, the official said, the department had completed creating two breakwaters using groynes and will start construction of a wharf and a boat landing jetty.
Once this is finished, the authorities will turn their attention to building structures on the land side including an auction hall, a net mending shed, an administrative building of the fisheries department and rest rooms. “Each building will take at least a couple of months and by March next year we expect to complete all the civil works and make the tuna line harbour ready for inauguration,” said the official.
South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association President K Bharathi said the facility at Kasimedu had space to anchor 680 boats of different sizes, but was now home to 1,100 vessels.
A sizeable number of fishermen from Thiruvottiyur, Ennore and Manali, who now anchor their boats at Kasimedu, can move out once the new facility, which can accommodate 300 boats, is complete, he said.
E Raghupathi, a boat owner, said the fisheries department was claiming that the new facility was exclusively meant for long line fishing boats, but those with smaller boats had already started using the place.
As far as Chennai is concerned, he said, operation of tuna long line boats is difficult due to lack of skilled manpower. Teams of fishermen putting out to sea in such boats should know the various fish aggregating grounds and, most importantly, should be able to identify live bites to lure deep-sea fish. Such knowledge is lacking in the city, he said. “Even if the fisheries department is ready to impart training on these issues, there are no takers,” he said.
Each such vessel should be 24 metres long, fitted with a 250HP engines and should be able to stay at sea for a minimum of 21 days and a maximum of 30 days, he said. The main catch of long liners is yellow fin tuna, sharks and blue molies, all export-oriented, Raghupathi added

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