Poor catch in Bhadra backwaters worries fishermen

Fishermen engaged in fishing using a coracle in the backwaters of Bhadra Dam, at Ravooru in N R Pura taluk.

The fishermen who eke out a living by catching fish in the backwaters of Bhadra dam are worried over dwindling fish catch. 

Several families from Ravooru, Lingapura, Maridibba, Morimutt, Halemakodu, Lakkunda, Koosagal, Aldara, Bhairapura and surrounding areas in N R Pura taluk depend on fishing for livelihood.

Katla, Rohu, Common carp, Mrigal carp, Gojale, Suragi, Pattegara and other species of fish are available in the backwaters of Bhadra dam.

The fishing was thriving in the region for decades. However, the fishermen feel that there has been a decline of 80% in the catch.

Fishermen alleged that more people than the licensed fishermen were engaged in fishing. The government is negligent towards releasing fingerlings into the backwaters, leading to a decline in
the catch.

“Since we use nets like beesu bale and gor bale for fishing, at times fingerlings get caught, which acts against the fish rearing process (as they are caught before they grow into big fish),” they said. 

“We get only one or 2 kg of fish daily. It is difficult to eke out a living with such a low catch. The men go for fishing early in the morning, while the women sell the caught fish in the town. There is a lack of full-fledged fish market in Narasimharajapura town as well. As a result, the women in fishing families are forced to sit on the roadside to sell the fish,” said a fisherman. 

Normally, these families migrate to Balehonnur, Kalasa and Mandagadde in search of greener pasture during summer and return to the villages during monsoon. 

Fisherman Chandru from Ravooru said, “The ban on fishing in the months of June and July has affected us. The facilities provided for fishermen in Dakshina Kannada is missing here. The government should release fingerlings to the backwaters.” 

Speaking to DH, Zilla Panchayat member P R Sadashiva said, “12 lakh fingerlings were released into the backwater last year. Zilla panchayat had urged the state government to release 25 lakh fingerlings.” 

Fisheries Department Assistant Director Ashwath Reddy said, “With the increase in the inflow of water, fish may be available beneath. The Fisheries Department will issue permits for 281 fishermen during the year. Last year, permits were issued to 161 fishermen.”

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Poor catch in Bhadra backwaters worries fishermen

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