Two groups of fishermen, from Vasavanipalem and Peda Jalaripeta, clashed mid-sea, leading to fishing boats set on fire in Vizag . The two groups engaged in physical attacks and six fishermen were injured. A case has been registered, under the Rushikonda Marine Police jurisdiction, and an investigation is underway. The fight was between fishermen who use traditional nets and those using ring nets. A ring net is a long net that is used to surround fishes with a wall type netting. These kinds of nets are usually used by trawlers, a type of mechanised boats, to capture shoal fish. Local fishermen, who have small rafts and reside in shoreline villages, complain that no catch is left for them when these trawlers use such nets. They had since sought a ban on the usage of such boats and the ring net fishing technique.
According to the Andhra Pradesh High Court directive, and Andhra Pradesh State Government, ring net fishing is banned within eight kilometres of the Andhra Pradesh coastline. This ban was announced in December 2020. However, the ring net fishing practice, by trawlers, continues unabated.
The ring net group of fishermen had apparently used them in a restricted area of the coast. Therefore, the other group, using traditional nets, had obstructed them. This is when a sequence of chasing and attacking had begun. During this violent incident in Vizag, a few fishermen fell off the fishing boats and six boats were set on fire. Traditional fishermen alleged that that ring net fishermen had violated the AP High Court direction and deployed ring nets within 8 km.
The concerned police team have imposed Section 144 in the fishing villages. Police pickets have been set up to prevent further clashes between the two groups. These kind of clashes had occurred before.