Goa minister orders crackdown on banned fishing techniques

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Goa minister orders crackdown on banned fishing techniques

Panaji, May 4 (IANS) Goa state Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar on Thursday ordered a crackdown on indiscriminate fishing using the two banned techniques of bull trawling and LED fishing and said he would take up the issue with the central government soon.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Palyekar said that “clear instructions” had been given to the officials of the state fisheries department to apprehend those involved in bull trawling and LED fishing within Goa’s territorial waters, which are up to 12 nautical miles off the coastline.

“The measures are being taken in order to protect the interests of the traditional fishermen, who use traditional techniques for catching fish. Indiscriminate fishing techniques like bull trawling and LED fishing are rapidly eliminating fish swarms off Goa,” Palyekar told reporters.

Traditional fisherfolk from Goa, also known as ramponkars, have been demanding a ban on fishing with the help of LED lights, which attracts entire swarms of fish with the help of its powerful glow underwater, but experts claim that the practice abets indiscriminate fishing, which would eventually lead to a fish famine in the waters off Goa.

Bull trawling, according to experts is another indiscriminate practice, which is frowned upon by traditional fishermen, because it involves two trawlers fishing with a common net virtually dredging all fish in its path from the water surface to the bed, including young offsprings, which takes a toll on fish breeding.

Palyekar said he would be visiting the national capital soon in order to meet the Union Minister for Agriculture (the central government’s fisheries department functions under the aegis of the Agriculture Ministry) in order to impress upon him the need to take strict action against bull fishing and LED fishing beyond coastal states’ territorial waters.

“I am going to request him to evolve a mechanism where fishermen using these techniques are cracked down upon. It is not a problem with Goa alone as bull trawling and LED fishing is a problem in other states too,” Palyekar said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.