Dredging damages 'unfair'
By MATHEW LOH
A REVISED compensation plan for fishermen and mariculturists hit by dredging and dumping has been labelled unacceptable by some Tsuen Wan District Board members.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Department yesterday presented them with a paper outlining the revised ex-gratia allowances for fishermen, and new conditions for mariculturists.
It has been approved by the Legislative Council's Finance Committee.
The plan involves increasing allowances paid to fishermen by three times and enables operators of fishing vessels more than 15 metres long - previously ineligible for payments - to lodge separate claims.
Ex-gratia payments will also be paid to mariculturists who have suffered as a result of dredging or dumping and some fish farmers are eligible for compensation.
However, fishing community members of the Tsuen Wan District Board expressed disappointment with a scheme they described as having too many vagaries.
The department will calculate annual fish harvest values by referring to a database of catch information from 1989 and 1991.
A spokesman for the district board said: ''It is unfair to base catch values on only three seasons.''