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Cyclone dampens New Year celebrations for fisherfolk

[Zee News, Saturday, 31 December 2011 10:42 No Comment]

(PTI) 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 said.

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.

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