Tamil Nadu fishermen protest against installation of buoys as they fear threat to livelihood

Ramanathapuram: Tamil Nadu's traditional fishermen who are engaged in seaweed cultivation staged a protest on Monday (May 27) in front of the District Forest Office and the office of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, against the installation of buoys around four islands in the Mandapam cluster of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT) was installing the buoys for the Tamil Nadu Forest Department for the proposed 'Community-based Eco-Tourism' in Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park to showcase the biosphere reserve to tourists and spread awareness to preserve the dynamic ecosystems.

As the buoys were installed around the islands of Poomarichan, Kurusadai, Pullivasal and Shingle, the fishermen complained that the project would hit their livelihood and they would be prevented from fishing and collecting seaweeds around the islands.

However, the Forest Department and Marine National Park officials explained that the proposed project would be implemented only with community participation, and it would not affect their livelihood. They further said that the floats are installed only to mark the tourist zone and send a signal to outsiders against trespassing into the area.

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