In a day of high drama, the fisheries department on Monday resolved to take over the operations at the Cutbona jetty after boat owners and agents clashed once again over sale of fish.
At a high-level meeting held by the south Goa Collector Tarik Thomas, director of fisheries Vinesh Arlekar, police officials, former MLA Benjamin Silva and representatives of the two factions of the boat owners, it was resolved to once again revert back to the token system as the fisheries department took control over the jetty once again.
Cutbona boat owners had earlier submitted a list of eight trawler operators whose fish would not be bought by the Cutbona boat owners-backed agents which led to a standoff on Sunday evening and fish remained loaded in the vessel.
Speaking to reporters, Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao informed that it has been decided that the fisheries department take over the operations adding, “We are very happy with the decision.”
He said that his name was also included in the list of eight trawler operators whose fish was refused to be bought by the union agents but now “we are free to sell the fish to whichever agent we want.”
Former president Sebastiao Cardozo, welcoming the decision, said it has been validated that the union is illegal and the fisheries department will take over the operations.
He said that it has also been decided to revert back to the token system of first-come-first-serve basis and no agent will be given a fixed landing berth adding that as per the submission to the High Court, trawler owners are free to appoint their agents.
Meanwhile, trawler owners confronted Alemao late on Monday evening when he visited the jetty over the statement made recently during the Colva meeting.
Alemao, speaking to reporters, denied saying anything against the fishing community adding that it was the same people who had supported him during the MP elections.
President of Cutbona Boat Owners Union Savio Silva said that the agents registered with the union had provided a list whose fish they would not handle. As of Monday, boats have not ventured into the sea and “we will have to wait and see the outcome.”