‘Effective implementation of fishing laws needed’

Dakshina Kannada Additional Deputy Commissioner M J Roopa speaks during the launch of 'Marine fisheries improvement project', organised by Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch in association with Fisheries College, at Hotel Ocean Pearl in Mangaluru on Th

The state government is likely to introduce an amendment to Karnataka Marine (Fishing) Regulation Act 1986. A draft is being prepared in this regard, said Fisheries Department, Bengaluru, Director Ramakrishna.

He was delivering the presidential address during the launch of ‘Marine Fisheries Improvement Project’, organised by Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch (AFSIB) in association with Fisheries College, at Hotel Ocean Pearl in Mangaluru on Thursday.

Stressing on the need for an effective implementation of the laws pertaining to fishing, he said that there were around 200 legal trawl boats and around 300 legal purse seine boats. But, more than 1,000 illegal bull trawling and purse seine boats are carrying out illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in high sea, beyond 200 nautical miles, he added.

“Mechanised bull trawl and purse seine fishing are the main reasons for a  significant decrease in the population of pelagic fish. Sea resources are not endless. They may go extinct one day”, he pointed out.

Ramakrishna further stated that Karnataka has provided around Rs 248 crore subsidy to fishermen, which is highest compared to any other state in India. Clean harbours, safety of fishermen and improvement of communication are the main priorities of the government, he added.

Marine Fisheries Improvement Project Principal Investigator and Secretary Dr P Keshavnath in his keynote address said that the main objective of the marine fisheries improvement project was the protection of sea fish.

“There is an urgent need to take up corrective measures towards the damage that has been caused.”

Dakshina Kannada district Additional Deputy Commissioner M J Roopa, who was the chief guest, suggested formulating programmes under the marine fisheries improvement project, which were  intended to bring the research aspects into practical mode.

“Traditional process of fisheries has undergone a lot of changes. Issues in fisheries industry need to be discussed and solved,” she said.

She meanwhile released a brochure on marine fisheries improvement project. Fisheries College Dean Dr A Senthil Vel said that the oceans had undergone degradation and loss of habitats caused by pollution. Over the last 20 years, exploitation of aquatic resources has increased from 10% to 40%. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the main reason, he added.

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