Traditional fishermen gloomy

Special Correspondent

World Fisheries Day is being celebrated today

Programme to educate stake-holders to avoid overexplotation

Ban on fishing is observed more in breach

ONGOLE: As their catch is dwindling year after year, traditional fishermen are celebrating World Fisheries Day (Nov 22) in a gloomy mood in the coastal villages in Prakasam district.

Even as entrepreneurs are exploiting technology and use more and more efficient trawlers and nets to catch fishes indiscriminately, the sea-wealth is affected adversely making the lives of traditional fishermen miserable.

The entrepreneurs are violating the rules with impudence and using nets with less than half an inch size and catching even small fishes. They are able to assess the size of fishes available in different seasons and changing the net sizes accordingly to literally drain the sea water of fishes. The number of fleet is only increasing.

As several hatcheries resort to catching brooder seed, the regeneration of prawn is affected adversely.

Though the Central Government imposed a ban on fishing from April 15 to June 15, it is observed more in breach. The fisheries department does not have the wherewithal to stop the illegal activity going on 10-50 km from the shore. The marine police stations are delayed indefinitely.

Worst hit

The worst sufferers are the traditional fishermen who have nothing more than Ila nets to catch fishes within 2-3 km from the shore.

The catch is so poor that they do not get even the fuel expenses incurred on their mechanized boats sometimes.

In this scenario, the Fisheries Department is celebrating World Fisheries Day at Singarayakonda on Friday to educate traditional fishermen and other stake holders on the need to avoid overexploitation of sea-wealth and pollution of sea waters and give time and opportunity for sea life to regenerate itself in their own interest.

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