Crackdown on illegal fishing


Local fishermen lock horns with Tamil Nadu fishers

Noticing a spurt in the illegal fishing practices using coconut flower stalks and plastic bottles by non-Kerala fishers off the Kozhikode coast, the district administration has decided to step up its coastal surveillance measures with the support of Marine Enforcement Squad and the Coastal Police.

At a meeting chaired by District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao here on Monday, the Marine Enforcement Squad was asked to have sufficient number of patrol boats to improve their daily sea patrol and track all illegal fishing attempts.

The local police too were asked to have better vigil against the loading and unloading of banned fishing materials in the coastal area. Officials from the Fisheries Department and various trade union leaders were present at the meeting.

The issue was taken up by the district administration after a group of fishers from Kozhikode locked horns with the Tamil Nadu fishers who allegedly employed the illegal means for fishing off the Kozhikode coast. On Saturday, the fishers had also blocked Tamil Nadu boats near the Beypore estuary seeking stern action from the Fisheries Department.

Tension was mellowed in the area following the intervention of the local police. They also seized illegal fishing materials from some of the boats. Following the scuffle between fishers, the security was stepped up in the coastal area covering the Beypore harbour.

Fishermen leaders from the city claimed that the illegal fishing materials discarded by the Tamil Nadu boats after the works were causing severe pollution and obstruction to other fishing boats in the sea. There were also incidents in which the costly fishing nets of local fishers were destroyed with such hazardous objects, they said.

“We hope that the improved patrol assured by the District Collector will put an end to the illegal practice. We have been fighting against it for long time,” said Karichal Preman, vice president of the All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association. He also claimed that the fishers from Colachel were mostly found engaged in the unlawful activity.

Mr. Preman, who is also an office-bearer of the Beypore Harbour Development Committee, said the illegal fishers had been warned by the local fishers several times, but they were heedless to follow the rules. “ We had also taken up the issue several times with the Fisheries Department and other enforcement wings, but in vain,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:46:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/crackdown-on-illegal-fishing/article30010119.ece

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