Wednesday , 16 October 2019
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Cutbona jetty being controlled by ‘mafia’, allege fishermen

PANAJI: The Cutbona fishing community has alleged that a hidden ‘mafia’ has taken control of the fishing jetty in the village and this mafia is ‘throttling’ the fish trade in all aspects including price fixing. Further they alleged that the ordinary fishermen are compelled to bow to the whims and fancies of the big players who operate the mafia.
A fisherman owning a second-hand trawler, requesting anonymity, alleged that he was not allowed to auction his catch worth Rs 5 lakh by some big players who call the shots at the jetty despite having all requisite licences.
“I was allowed to auction my catch on Friday, but on Saturday the big ‘bully’ players stopped my catch from being auctioned, in spite of having all the permits from the authorities,” he alleged.
According to Cutbona boat owners’ development union president Cipriano Cardozo, if a trawler owner is not registered with the union it makes it difficult for them to take up the case. He said a fisherman must apply to become a registered member of the union.
Secondly, he said, the union members get first preference to auction daily catch. Some more fishermen complained that there are some vessels which do not have registration certification and yet enjoy diesel subsidies, adding the directorate of fisheries should inspect these boats.
They said the fish cartel controls the essential infrastructure needed for loading and unloading and manipulates the fishermen as it pleases.

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