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Vasco fisherwomen object to ‘illegal’ sale of fish

Story: the | goan | 14th November 2017, 01:16 Hrs
The port town witnessed chaotic scenes on Monday morning when fisherwomen affiliated to the Vasco Fish Vendors' Society marched to the Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) to protest against vendors selling fish on roads and kiosks selling wholesale fish near TB Cunha Chowk at Vasco.
Led by society president Caridade Pereira, the fisherwomen claimed they were paying an annual Sopo of nearly Rs 8 lakh to the MMC. They complained that vendors were selling fish along the roadside in Vasco and many kiosks were selling wholesale fish near TB Cunha Chowk, just outside the fish market. As a result, very few customers were visiting the market.
Speaking to the media, society president Pereira said: "We do not have customers as vendors sell fish door-to-door and by the roadside. Wholesalers now sell even small
fish like silver fish and crabs in kilos."
"Last week, MMC officials fined us for not paying on time and also said electrical connections would be cut as electricity bills were not paid," said Pereira.
"Later, the chief officer intervened and sought seven days time to check if MMC had cleared the power bills. We cannot survive if authorities don't act on our demands. We will meet TCP Minister Vijai Sardessai if our issues are not resolved," he said.
Later in the afternoon, the fisherwomen confronted kiosk owners selling fish outside the market near KTC shuttle service bus stop at TB Cunha Chowk.
The fisherwomen argued that the kiosks had no license to sell fish. A stall owner, Mathias Monteiro, hit back by saying the fisherwoman were not authorities to certify who could conduct business. He also argued that the lamanis should be first stopped before the kiosks are closed.
The delegation then met Chief Officer Agnelo Fernandes, who heard grievances of the fisherwomen.
Fernandes then assured to take action after November 20 on people selling fish by the roadside. "I will create awareness before taking action and I will check if wholesalers have necessary permission or else action will be taken against them as well."
"If people start selling fish outside, then there will be no visitors to the market and the fisherwomen will have no business. Hence, it is important to take strong action in this matter."