Fishing operations begin at Rameswaram

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Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Jul 21 (UNI) Fishing operations began at the island town of Rameswaram, one of the main marine food centres in south India, after a 17-day strike, today.

Official sources here said out of 850-odd registered mechanised fishing boats, anchored at Rameswaram coast, following an indefinite stir by fishermen, 746 boats set sail into the sea.

The stir had affected at least 20,000 families, which depended upon the fishing industry for livelihood. The strike caused a total production loss of Rs 24 crore to the industry, besides causing foreign exchange loss to the tune of Rs 4.80 crore to the exchequer, the sources added.

More than 3,000 fishermen kept off the sea from July 5 to condemn the ''indiscriminate attacks'' on them by the Sri Lankan Navy. The strike was called off on July 17 after an assurance from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that the government was taking steps to redress their grievances.

UNI GSM SJ RC ND1240

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