Ramyalakshmi who is the assistant director, fisheries, of Cuddalore district has bagged the Tamilnadu government’s Kalpana Chawla award 2019 for her exemplary courage in curbing purse seine fishing. This method would not only deprive local fishermen of their catch but would also pose a threat to the marine ecosystem as a whole.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs and a medal. Ramyalakshmi joined the department as a direct recruit in 2017 and since then has been at the forefront of efforts to enforce the ban on purse seine fishing. Several rounds of awareness meetings were held with the fishermen to raise awareness on the implications of purse seine fishing. They were even offered alternate means of livelihood if they abandoned the purse seine. After the success in Cuddalore, many other coastal belts have been inspired to follow the same example.