Local fishermen in Kyaikmayaw Town established the Mother Ataran Fishermen Association on Tuesday, in Mon State.
Members said the association was started to resolve livelihood problems faced by fishermen on the Ataran River, particularly after roughly 20 fishing boats capsized recently due to high-speed boats transporting coal and factory materials to the Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) factory.
“What we are facing at the moment is that ships from the MCL travel at high speeds. Because they go so fast, the wake is large and our boats overturn and capsize in the river. We founded this association because we want the ships to run on a lower speed, as slowly as they can, and to resolve other problems together,” said U Myo Min Aung, chairman of Mother Ataran River Fishermen Association.
A fishermen’s association previously operated in Kyaikmayaw Town, but was not officially registered. Now, the new association’s body has 9 central executive committee members, who plan to apply for registration.
“Because of MCL’s speedy boats, we have to delay casting our fishing nets. The big currents cause our boats to overturn and our nets get torn. Our boats also get hit by waves and break down or capsize. We have reported this to the government. But because we did not have an official association, we received no response,” said Ko Myat Moe, the association’s finance officer.