Creation of viable alternative income generation programmes for people who were dependent on marine resources should be made, said K. Sellamuthu, Director, Fisheries Department, Chennai.

He was addressing a programme organised by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau on ‘Marine wildlife crimes and legal provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 at Fisheries College and Research Institute here on Saturday.

To improve the socio-economic status of the fisherfolk and to sustain marine wildlife resources, community-based coastal resources management programmes were essential.

Under Wildlife Protection Act, the maximum punishment for killing an endangered species such as tigers was three to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000 for the first offence and Rs. 25,000 for the second offence.

S. Narayanan, Regional Deputy Director, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Southern Region, spoke on the role played by his department and on Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and its legal provisions.

Saurabh Sharma, Supreme Court advocate, spoke on quantum of punishment and tough measures advocated by the legal bodies against perpetrators of wildlife crimes and on trials for offenders. Principal District Judge P.S. Avadi Thyagarajamurthy and 35 judicial officers from Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts participated.

Enforcement agencies from the Departments of Forests, Fisheries and faculty members of FCRI were present.