In Chicalim, famous for vast quantities of clams (tisreo) and oysters (kalvam), locals from within five kilometer will have first rights to harvest these 'bioresources' according to new guidelines notified by the State government's Department of Environment and Climate Change.
"The available clam resources should be allowed to be harvested only with the traditional method of hand picking and exclusively by the local villagers and those residing within an area of about 5 kms radius from the site by road or water on alongside of location and does not include opposite side of riverbank," States the guidelines.
However, for those beyond five kilometers, exploitation should not be permitted without the express sanction of the local bodies or a suitable regulatory or enforcement mechanism to be worked out by the panchayat through the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs).
"The Chicalim Bay has a brood stock of clams and diverse marine species of commercial value, including the flagship species of Window Pane Oyster (Placuna placenta). However, it must be emphasized that the bay has been sustainably utilized by several generations of people from Sancoale, Chicalim, Dabolim (Sancoalekars, Chicalikars and Dabolikars) and other adjoining villages," it said.
As to whether or not to charge a fee or impose restrictions like number of people to be permitted per day, the guideline says it should be decided by the BMC under guidance from GSBB and experts designated by GSBB.
Although the guidelines are Chicalim-Sancoale specific, the notification issued by Environment Director, Dashrath Redkar states it could be made applicable to the entire State with customization wherever necessary in consultation with local biodiversity management committees, Goa State Biodiversity Board and the Fisheries department until a legal framework is derived.
While the guideline mentions clams, they are applicable to other marine and riparian biological resources such as oysters, mussels and other vulnerable species under threat of over harvesting, Redkar said in the notification.
The notification also includes a guideline which says clams of three centimeters width or more can only be exploited.