Illegal fishing practices are posing serious threat to fish resources and aquatic biodiversity. Creation of artificial substrata, use of dynamites in shallow parts of seas and fishing during high tides in backwaters have been reported in the State, though such activities have been banned by law.

Officials of the Fisheries Department had recently confiscated huge bundles of bamboo shoots from some fishing groups in Kochi, which were intended to create “paru” or artificial substrata, said E.G. George Kutty, deputy director of Fisheries, Ernakulam.

The tender shoots of ornamental bamboo and yellow bamboo were brought for the use of migratory fishermen. These bundles were intended to be tugged to Fort Kochi area. The fishermen and their agents were warned of the consequences of engaging in such activities, he said.

The fishermen from neighbouring States have been found engaged in this practice. The bamboo bundles will be held in the shallow parts of the seas using ropes and stones. In some cases, there were also reports of fishermen using flower stalks of coconut trees. Local fishermen had also raised complaints about the use of such measures, which are banned by law, he said.

B. Madhusoodana Kurup, Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences said that the dynamites were used near the artificial substrata created by the fishermen. Fishes in various stages of their lifecycle including larvae, juveniles and adults congregate at the artificial substrata. The use of explosives will kill the fishes besides wiping out the biomass, Dr. Kurup said.

Fishing operations in backwaters during high tide has also been noticed by the authorities.

Officials confiscated bamboo shoots intended to create ‘paru' from some fishing groups.

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