Large-scale juvenile fishing reported at Munambam

January 28, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 23, 2016 10:58 pm IST - KOCHI:

An estimated 60,000 to 80,000 kg of fish juveniles land at the harbour a day

Marine Products Export Development Authority’s conservation wing NETFISH has reported large-scale landings of fish juveniles at the Munambam fishing harbour after State authorities stepped in to prevent juvenile fishing off the coast of Kollam.

NETFISH sources said that the lobby engaged in juvenile fishing had shifted their operations to Munambam following government action in Neendakara and Sakthikulangara harbours.

They said that the lobby was backed by a large fleet of transport vehicles and agents, who throng the harbours where fish juveniles are landed.

Large quantities of fish juveniles were sold to fishmeal factories in Mangalore and Thoothukudi.

The juvenile fishes of major commercial varieties like threadfin breams, ribbon fishes, mackerel and leather jacket are being destroyed. An estimated 60,000 to 80,000 kg of fish juveniles land at Munambam per day, sources said. It was in Neendakara, the largest fishing harbour in Kerala, where the activities were first reported. It had then spread to Sakthikulangara.

The juvenile fishes are sold for around Rs.15 a kg and the loss is colossal, NETFISH sources said, pointing out that fishes like mackerel, leather jacket and ribbon fish of commercial size are sold for more than Rs.150 a kg.

Considering the harm it is causing to marine fisheries resources, the State government had issued a notice prescribing the minimum legal size for the commercially important varieties.

Unfortunately, some of the boat operators in the region have argued that they would continue fishing for juveniles until the practice is stopped at Muttom fishing harbour in Tamil Nadu, NETFISH sources said.

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