Kochi

Fisheries dept. says fish landings increased due to COVID curbs

Marine fish landings in the State considerably recovered during 2021–22 to touch 6.02 lakh tonnes due largely to pandemic-induced restrictions on fishing activities and frequent weather warnings that curtailed fishing days.

Fisheries department sources said fish landings in the State in 2018–19 were 6.08 lakh tonnes, which fell to 4.75 lakh tonnes in the following year and touched a low of 3.91 lakh tonnes in 2020–21.

The figures have been cited to support the view that resource conservation is the road to protect livelihoods of lakhs of fishermen in the State.

Post-Ockhi scenario

There have been severe restrictions on fishing ventures in open sea since cyclone Ockhi hit Kerala coast in December 2017. The closure of harbours and restrictions on holding open auctions of landed fish had prevented traditional fishers from venturing out into the sea for several months during the first and second waves of the pandemic. Traditional fisheries sector sources claimed that around 100 fishing days had been lost on account of the pandemic and weather warnings.

Measures to conserve

Several measures were adopted to conserve resources. They included imposition of the rule on minimum legal size for any species to be caught and commercially traded. The State government has, on the recommendation of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, notified the minimum legal size for 58 commercially important species that land in the State’s coast.

The State as a whole has seen big fluctuations in fish landings, including oil sardines, since 2012, when the total fish landings were 8.39 lakh tonnes. According to data available, the catch of oil sardines, the mainstay of the fisheries sector in the State, dropped to 13,154 tonnes in 2020 against 3.99 lakh tonnes during 2012. The species also ensures food security for the coastal population.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 11:34:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fisheries-dept-says-fish-landings-increased-due-to-covid-curbs/article65459742.ece