Saturday 22 Jun 2024

Local fishermen want police to strictly enforce fishing ban

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 29, 2024, 11:07 PM IST
Local fishermen want  police to strictly   enforce fishing ban

Fishing boats are dropping anchor at the Cutbona fishing jetty ahead of the ban on fishing scheduled on June 1.

Photo Credits: Santosh Mirajkar

MARGAO

As fishing boats drop anchor at the jetties and the state’s coast with less than a week to go for the fishing ban to come into force on June 1, small boat owners as well as traditional fishermen look forward to the government to equip the coastal police and other authorities to enforce the fishing ban in both letter and spirit.

The fishermen rued that fishing boats  from neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra have destroyed the marine resources by fishing close to the Goa coast with speed fishing boats and via bull trawling.

A small fishing boat owner from Betul, Pandari Kerkar, operating from the Cutbona fishing jetty, said that the fishing season was not so good for the small fishermen this year. Citing a host of factors, Kerkar said absence of strict measures to reign in on the outside fishing boats have left the small and traditional fishermen without any major fish catch.  “Outside fishing boats have destroyed the marine resources. These fishing vessels employ bull trawling which destroy the marine resources affecting the traditional fishermen”, he said.

To tide over the situation, he has suggested that the government equip the coastal police and other authorities with interceptor boats to intercept these outside fishing boats from fishing close to the Goa coastline. “We are told there is only one interceptor vessel with the government which cannot monitor the entire coastline. The government should invest money in procuring the interceptor boards to drive away the outside fishing vessels”, he added.

Benaulim-based traditional fisherman, Pele Fernandes echoed similar sentiments.  He pointed out that fleet of outside fishing boats have left the traditional fishermen in the lurch with no action forthcoming from the Fisheries department and other authorities. “When these outside fishing vessels fish illegally close to our coast via bull trawling, they destroy the marine resources. The traditional fishermen are the victims of bull trawling and LED lights by these outside vessels. The government should come out with strong measures to stop the illegal modes of fishing and save the livelihood of the traditional fishermen”, he said.

Pele pointed out that the traditional fishermen had to literally go without any major catch over the  last several days, affecting the livelihoods of the fishing communities. “We feel the government should equip the coastal police with the speed boats to intercept the outside fishing boats. In the absence of any such mechanism, I had provide my speed boats to the coastal police in the recent past to intercept the outside fishing boats”, he said, while making a plea to the government to strengthen the enforcement agencies with latest equipment and interceptor boats.


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