Centre to reel in fishing camps

MoEFs reiteration of ban may lead to their closure

In July 2010, the State Government directed the JLR to suspend its activities at the fishing camps until the MOEF clarified its stance regarding the ban on angling. It also made a submission in the High Court, stating that it had written to MOEF seeking clarification. It also submitted that the department had directed the State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts to suspend angling in all stretches of river Cauvery and in areas allocated to them.The State owns three of the four fishing camps in Cauvery wildlife Sanctuary Doddamakali, Bheemeshwari and Galibore.

In response to the letter dated August 3, 2010 in connection with an appeal before the High Court challenging the withdrawal of permission to a fishing camp in sanctuary, Prakriti Srivastava, Deputy Inspector General (wildlife), MOEf, has replied, reiterating her Ministry’s ban on angling of Masheer.

“The earlier stand of the Ministry is reiterated. As per Section 2 (16) (b), Section 29 and Section 33 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Angling of Mahsheer inside the protected area is illegal and cannot be allowed,” Srivastava said in a letter dated October 11, 2010, available with Deccan Herald.

The earlier letter of MOEF dated June 7, 2010 says that angling and its release into the water immediately amounted to hunting.  “Capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving or baiting any wildlife or captive animal amounts to hunting and presuming capture of mahseer amounts to sport is wrong. Even hunting was a sport earlier and has been banned now.”

Following its petition in the High Court, a meeting convened by the State Government on July 19, 2010, resolved to write write to the Union Ministry seeking clarification regarding the ban. Chaired by Meera C Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests Ecology and Environment Department, it was attended by K Jyothiramlingam, Principal  Secretary, Tourism, B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and  Wildlife warden, N D Tiwari, Additional PCCF, Jungle Lodges and resorts, Sanjay Mohan, CCF and Executive Director, JLR and Nagraj Hampole, CCF and Secretary Forests.

The petitioners Bush Betta fishing camp (BBFC) had moved the High Court challenging the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee.

On a petition by a City based wildlife enthusiast, Tiger G Ramesh in February 2010, the CEC had directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden to reconsider permission for a fishing camp in the sanctuary.

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