The fishermen in Tamil Nadu have objected to Sri Lanka’s initiative to submerge discarded vehicles into Sri Lankan waters, saying their fishing would be affected. The experts from India also called the move ’irresponsible.
On June 11, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Navy, submerged 20 degraded and discarded buses near Delft Island (‘Neduntheevu’) in its northern waters (‘Palk Strait’). The move was termed by Sri Lanka as one ‘to help create artificial reef conducive to the marine environment’. Tamil Nadu fishermen condemned it, saying it will affect their livelihood, the Indian Express reported.
The submersion on June 11 was not the first. Sri Lanka has been dropping discarded vehicles for a while. The points of drop are in Sri Lankan waters. Yet, still, Tamil Nadu fishermen are concerned.
“What is the guarantee that the vehicles will not get drifted underwater, will move towards the Indian waters across International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and deposited at the bottom of our waters? We saw the Tsunami washing up such objects for several miles and depositing them near our shore in December 2004. Our fishing will get affected. We request the state government to stop this outrageous move and save our waters, our shore and our fishing,” said RMP Rajendra Nattar, a fisher-representative from Nagapattinam.