With the marine fisheries sector facing a decline in catch, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), through its marine fisheries policy for Karnataka, has provided advisories to address the issue for sustainable management of marine fisheries in the state.
The suggestions have been made by scientists – including Prathibha Rohit, A P Dineshbabu, Geetha Sasikumar, P S Swathi Lekshmi, K G Mini, E Vivekanandan, Sujitha Thomas, Rajesh K M, Purushothama G B, Bindu Sulochanan, Divya Viswambharan and Sharath Kini.
The analysis by the CMFRI has shown that there was excess catch by the fishing boats in the state. There is an urgent need to reduce the number of fishing boats to the optimum level in a phased manner, said the scientists in the management programmes for marine fisheries of Karnataka.
They have suggested that the registration of real craft should be continued with a validity limit of 10 years. After expiry of the registration, the seaworthiness of the fishing boats may be assessed, and extension should be given for a maximum of two years.
To diversify fishing activities, there is a need to promote deep sea fishing with selected nets. This will prevent unhealthy competition and rift among the fishermen.
There is also a need for strict monitoring and control over boat building yards. New fishing boats should be allowed only as a replacement of fishing vessels that are old and worn out, the scientists have advised.
The experts have pointed out a need for mesh regulations to be strictly implemented and monitored in the state. The cod-end mesh size of trawl nets and mesh size of other major gears used should follow the optimum mesh size as suggested in the report of the committee to evaluate fish resources and the impact of trawl ban along the Kerala coast.
The number of ‘sede meenu’, which was a major fish in the state, drastically declined due to exploitation but is now recovering slowly. In order to increase the population of the ‘sede meenu’, a moratorium of fishing of the species through the purse seine method should be implemented for a period of five years, said the experts.
They also suggested measures to control the proliferation of light-based fishing in the state.
The catching of Kappe Bandas using Fish Aggregation Device by Trawl boats should be prohibited. The coral reef area surrounding the Netrani Island should be converted to a ‘fish refugia’ to allow breeding of fish, the advisories suggested.