The Malpe Fishermen's Deep Sea Trawl Boat Association has urged the State government to ban illegal fishing of cuttlefish in the coastal districts of the State.

Association president Gopal Kunder told presspersons here on Friday that some local agents hired fishermen from Tamil Nadu to undertake illegal fishing of cuttlefish during August and September.

Catching of cuttlefish during these two months was wrong as they breed during this time. If cuttlefish was caught in August and September, it would lead to a drastic reduction in its production.

The catch of cuttlefish had come down in four years because of illegal fishing during its breeding season. This illegal fishing had been affecting the livelihood of fishermen working in 2,000 deep sea trawlers in Mangalore and Malpe. Many of the deep sea trawlers had been purchased by taking loans. The fishermen working on the trawlers had invested Rs. 700 crore in deep sea fishing.

Although the district administrations in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts had banned the illegal fishing of cuttle fish, this ban should be extended to Uttara Kannada district as well.

The illegal fishing of cuttle fish in the Eastern Coast of the country had reduced its production drastically. The governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala had banned such illegal fishing.