Purse-seine fishermen at Malpe fisheries harbour are striking work in protest against deep sea trawlers allegedly eating into their catch.

The fishermen, who have suspended fishing for the past six days, claim they find little or no fish to catch and blame the deep sea trawlers for their plight. Fishermen using deep sea trawlers deny the charge.

The fishing by deep sea trawlers — popularly called bull trawl fishing — involve spreading net between two trawlers on either side to catch fish. The trawlers generally return with huge catch of cuttlefish, squids and ribbon fish.

The association on Monday submitted a memorandum regarding their problems to the District in-charge Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, MLA Pramod Madhwaraj, Udupi Chikmagalur MP K. Jayaprakash Hegde and Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju. “We will soon seek an appointment with the Fisheries Minister K. Abhayachandra Jain and bring the matter to his notice,” Mr. Krishna said. Mr. Madhwaraj has convened a meeting of the representatives of both groups on Thursday to find a solution, he said.

Refuting the charge, an office-bearer of the Malpe Deep Sea Trawl Boat Fishermen’s Association, who did not want to be named, said there was no study conducted by government agency or institution to prove that fishing by deep sea trawlers was responsible for dwindling catch for the purse seine boats.

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