Udupi: No dredging from three years - Silt chokes Malpe port


Malpe port is home to thousands of fishing boats. But the silt and sediment that have accumulated here have been creating problems for undertaking fishing activity. For the fishermen who are already mired in problems like poor fish catches and rising fuel cost, the silt is creating problems for anchoring of boats at Malpe.

As desilting operations have not been conducted for the last three to four years, slush and sediment has built up at the bottom of the sea. About 50 percent of dredging had been conducted three years ago by indenting a dredger from Mumbai. The fishermen leaders rue the fact that the promise made to undertake dredging again has not been kept.

Over 2,500 boats including deep sea trawl boats, purse seine boats centre on Malpe port. People are compelled to cross from boat to boat to reach the shore. Because of silt, anchoring becomes very tough. Depth has been becoming less and less with the increased slush. Boats get damaged as a result. As a consequence, fishermen are forced to spend periodically on repairs and replacements, the boat owners say.

When there is a thick layer of sediment, fishermen if they accidentally slip and fall into the water when crossing the boats or transporting things or laying the nets, they are sure to face grave danger. Even the experts and strong people cannot wriggle themselves out of the thick silt underneath the water, the fishermen said. They have urged the concerned to see that the silt is cleared as soon as possible.