Mapusa: The traditional fishermen from Arambol have demanded a complete ban on water sports activities at Arambol beach as the activity is threatening their livelihood. The fishermen from Khalchawada in Arambol, under the banner of Laxmi Narayan Fisherman Association, claimed that the noise pollution and disturbance created by the speeding water sports boats causes the fish to swim across to deep waters, thus depriving them of a good catch.
The president of the association, Narayan Redkar, said, "Since many days some non-Goans are using the Arambol beach for water sports activities, which is adversely affecting traditional fishermen; this should be stopped." The members of the association claimed that the tourism activity is threatening the livelihood of nearly 300 local families.
Fishermen state that in the past there were many attempts by locals to set up water sports facilities at Arambol beach to boost tourism activities, but considering the fact that it may hamper fishing activity, it was not allowed. This year, however, some non-Goans are operating speed boats at Arambol beach, giving scant regard to the locals' concerns.
"The water sports activities on the Arambol beach without taking locals into confidence is illegal and unjust to the villagers. This should be stopped," Redkar said.
"Fishermen from Arambol are likely to vanish as there is constant neglect by the government. In all, 300 families are dependent on fishing in this area, therefore, the government should devise proper schemes for the revival of traditional fishing activities," said Salvador Fernandes, vice-president of the association.
Sources say that with tourism activities operating at the Arambol beach, fishermens' canoes and the nets have no designated place, thus putting the safety of the fishing equipment under threat. The fishermen also demanded that their long pending demand of the 'Ramponicho Maand' land, earmarked for the traditional fishermen, be fulfilled at the earliest.
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