Ban on outside boats as fishermen associations lock horns

Ban will be in force from today

The district administration has banned entry of boats registered outside Karnataka into Udupi coast between November 21 and December 5, under Section 144, as a precautionary safety measure in the wake of possible chaos following the differences within the two factions of deep sea fishermen in Malpe.

At the same time, if there are any such boats already anchored in Udupi coast, they should leave immediately.

Malpe Fishermen Association has already announced indefinite protest from November 22 demanding strict implementation of the Karnataka Marine Fishing (Regulation) Act 1986 and also ban on illegal fishing of cuttle fish by Tamil Nadu fishermen.

However, sharply retorting against the allegations, the Malpe Gillnet Boat Owners and Agents Association has threatened to approach High Court if Malpe Fishermen Association does not drop their proposal of protest.

Malpe Gillnet Boat Owners and Agents Association President Vikram countered the allegations by saying that the Tamil Nadu fishermen have never violated any rules and regulations of Karnataka Marine Fishing (Regulation) Act 1986.

He said they could be booked for violation of the rules if at all they have committed any crime.

He stressed that they use only country crafts for fishing and they have never intruded into the prohibited area of 12 nautical miles. Tamil Nadu fishing boats do not cross the prohibited area and they do fishing beyond 20 to 30 nautical miles in the sea.

 These fishermen sell the fish catch to the agents in Malpe and they do not take it to their state. He said there is no rule in the Act to ban Tamil Nadu fishermen from fishing. Malpe Fishermen Association members are giving wrong messages to the government. It is the question of livelihood and survival of several workers, he added.

He also declined the allegation by asserting that they are not into destroying the breeds of cuttle fish.

Tamil Nadu fishermen go for simple single pin net to catch cuttle fishes.
The weight is around 500 gram to 3.5 kgs.

Instead, Malpe fishermen Association members go for random catch and indulge in destroying the breeds of cuttle fish by catching its young ones that weigh less than 500 grams.

Vikram threatened that if Malpe Fishermen Association does not withdraw the protest, Malpe Gillnet Boat Owners and Agents Association will approach High Court alleging the irregularities in boats and engines that are being used.

Generally, according to the notification issued under the Karnataka Inland Fisheries (Conservation, Development and Regulation) Act, the boat with the length of 1.5 meters to 20 meters should go for 250 CC engine. In contrast the Malpe Fishermen are using 400 CC and 500 CC engines for the same length of fishing boats which is sheer violation of the rules. The High Court will be approached demanding justice citing these technical irregularities that indict illegal fishing, he added.

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