Tension as fishers protest against boats engaged in pelagic fishing

Tension prevailed for a while after 25-odd purse seine boats operated by traditional fishermen assembled in the shipping channel near the Marine Enforcement office at Vypeen following the detention of three Beypore-based boats engaged in fishing using the banned pelagic gear.

Purse seine boat operators had detected and towed the boats along to the Marine Enforcement office near the jhankar jetty at Vypeen. They continued the protest even as more operators assembled along the shipping channel.

Subsequently, Coastal Police personnel from Fort Kochi rushed to the spot and dispersed them in about an hour.

The Fisheries Department had on Wednesday seized a boat for allegedly using the banned pelagic fishing net during a drive in the wake of widespread complaints about fishing using the banned gear.

The boat named Prosper from Beypore was slapped with a fine of ₹2.50 lakh, and the banned fishing net worth around ₹2 lakh was seized. The proceeds worth ₹62,000 from the sale of the catch was also attached to the government.

The department has formed a special squad to strictly deal with violations of marine fishing regulations. The drive will continue in the coming days. Violations will be strictly fined, and the penalty will be doubled for repeated offence. Stringent measures like cancellation of boat registration and licence will also be adopted.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:07:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/tension-as-fishers-protest-against-boats-engaged-in-pelagic-fishing/article36778728.ece

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