The offshore casinos in Goa suffered from a protest by the local fishermen at the end of last week. The fishermen anchored their boats in the Mandovi River to protest the use of LED lights used for fishing.
The state government banned the use of LED lights after complaints from traditional fishermen explained that indiscriminate fishing was taking place by trawlers using LED lights to attract the fish. The fishermen blocked the river because it appears that the implementation of the ban has not taken place as it should have.
During the protest against the LED lights, the Director of the Casino Pride floating casino, Srivinas Naik, commented: “The offshore casino industry has come to a half since the fishermen have taken charge of feeder boats and jetties.”
Naik explained that they had requested that the feeder boats transporting casino patrons should be allowed to pass the protestors. The fishermen did not comply, and a complaint was filed. Some of the feeder boats had managed to get to and from the casinos while others did not.
Naik said: “But they have refused to budge an inch. We have filed a formal complaint with the state government but police too have failed to give us relief. There were some crisis moments when customers who were in the ship couldn’t come out due to protests and they missed their flight.”
The casinos had some customers cancel their planned casino visits, and others who postponed. A casino official explained that visitors from Northern India who had already booked their casino trips made the decision to cancel. Apart from the problem of transport to and from the casino vessels, there was also some concern about being caught up in the situation.
By the second day of the protest, the fishermen lined up just next to the riverbank, opening up the river to regular water traffic.