Hundreds of fishermen stage stir

MLA assures action

Hundreds of fishermen and fisher women joined hands to protest against district administration demanding justice against the illegal fishing of cuttle fish by Tamil Nadu fishermen and also negligence in implementation of the Karnataka Marine Fishing (Regulation) Act 1986 here at Malpe harbour on Thursday.

The entire region observed a sort of total bundh with almost all fishing activities getting suspended in the harbour. The entire coast wore a deserted look. Most of the shops were shut down to extend their support to the ongoing protest. Police personnel were deployed in the protest area. The protest was started at around 8 am and concluded at around 1.30 pm. The protest meeting had many people speaking and expressing their discontent over the district administration.

The dispute has reached the heights of severe intensity with the fishermen community dividing into factions over the issue. The Section 144 of Criminal Code Procedure was clamped by the district administration for the next 15 days that insists ban on vessels registered in other states entering and berthing in Udupi district coast.

The traditional fishing of cuttle fishes by gillnets and mechanised boats are banned in 10 km area from the coast. The sale of fish catch by the boat registered outside Karnataka is banned. Following the ban, the boats registered outside Karnataka left all fisheries harbour of Udupi district.

Addressing the gathering, MLA Raghupathy Bhat assured that he will hold talks with the
government to introduce the provisions of Karnataka Marine Fishing (Regulation) Act 1986.

However, Chief Minister and Fisheries Department Principal Secretary have been approached over the issue. CM has already said that he will table the Fisheries Act with new amendments that are incorporated, in the winter session to be held in Belgaum next month. The revised order of newly amended Fisheries Act is released on November 21 that bans the unconventional fishing and also bans fishing by the other state boats within 12 nautical miles.

Until then, the prohibitory orders will continue. There is a need for strict implementation of the provisions. Hence, the district administration will extend the prohibitory orders, he added.

MLA appealed the fishermen and fisher women to drop their protest as government will come out with the new Fisheries Act incorporating the demands made by the fishermen association. The new Act bans the unconventional fishing by using rotten material and also mechanised tools. The central government’s ban is already in effect, however, state government has failed to execute it effectively, he added.

Earlier fishermen community forwarded the memorandum of their demands to MLA.

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