The Federation of Purse Seine and Traditional Fishermen’s Organisation of Coastal Karnataka has urged the State government to ban bull-trawling by deep sea trawlers.

Ganapati Mangre, President of the federation, said there was little or no difference between bull trawling and beam trawling. Both led to destruction of progeny of fishes and fish famine. “The owners of the deep sea trawlers are calling it middle-water trawling or beam trawling to mislead the fishermen and the people, when what they are doing is bull-trawling”, he said.

In the case of bull-trawling, the capacity of the boat engine ranged from 350 HP to 500 HP.

When two trawlers joined together for fishing, the capacity of their engines went up to 700 HP to 1,000 HP. The net is spread from the bottom of the sea to the top. Both the trawlers move for several kilometers day and night catching fish.

Due to bull-trawling, some species of fishes were found in little quantities.

Fishing in such a large scale and in an environmentally destructive manner had affected the purse seine boats and small country boats as well as seashore fishing. In order to save the progeny of fishes and to avoid fish famine, it was essential to ban bull-trawling and beam trawling. The number of deep sea trawlers was increasing in the State.

These trawlers go fishing during nights and night-time fishing should be totally banned, Mr. Mangre said.

The deep sea trawlers should stick to fishing in deep sea, that is, beyond 40 metres from the coastline.

They should not be allowed to come nearer to the coastline as it affected the traditional fishing.

The ban on fishing period during the monsoon should be increased from the present 57 days to 90 days. This would help increase fish production in the sea. Such a ban should be enforced in all western States, he said.