Dredging to affect fishermen

SOME 27,500 hectares of inshore fishing grounds will be affected by dredging for the airport core projects, said the Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mrs Elizabeth Bosher.

''As a result, the livelihoods of 4,000 fishermen habitually operating 1,500 small boats in the waters between Lung Kwu Chau and the Ninepins will be affected,'' Mrs Bosher said.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Works, Mr Tony Eason, revealed that the annual average value of the fishing harvest in these waters was about $65 million, which was three per cent of the total value of fishing catches into Hongkong.

Meeting Point legislator Mr Tik Chi-yuen said fishermen were unhappy with the calculation of compensation, which was based on a level set in 1987.

''The rule of thumb is to compensate to the value of about one year's fishing of an individual fisherman,'' Mr Eason said.

Mrs Bosher said the Agriculture and Fisheries Department would help the affected fishermen to work in more distant waters by providing training courses.