The Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi has demanded that the State government take up active measures to conserve fisheries resources even as the 52-day monsoon trawl ban is slated to come into effect later this week. Charles George, convener of the fishers’ forum, said countries like Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand had banned the practice of trawling. In Sri Lanka, it had been banned since 2018, he said.
He slammed the Union government’s decision to restrict trawl ban to just 47 days. Mr. George claimed that trawl ban had the backing of ground realities and knowledge of traditional fish workers on resource availability.
The practice of imposing a ban on trawling during the rainy season came into effect in 1988 and since then there had been considerable efforts to ensure that marine fish resources were looked after and not overexploited to the detriment of the fishing community, he added.
Traditional fish workers had always demanded that trawling ban should be imposed on all three months of rainy season but the government had decided against it.
Optimal mesh size
While ban on trawling was a big step towards conservation of resources, the government must also stop juvenile fishing totally. The union said the government should keep a strict vigil on net-making units to ensure that the mesh sizes complied with the regulations to end juvenile fishing.