Pelagic trawl nets, boats seized

September 08, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 22, 2016 05:49 pm IST - KOCHI:

A group of fishermen on traditional and purse-seine boats operating off the coast of Vypeen on Wednesday seized two boats engaged in pelagic trawling and handed over the nets and boats to officials of the Enforcement Wing of the State Fisheries Department.

The boats, both from Tamil Nadu and registered under a Central government agency, have been taken into custody along with the fishing gear, which is banned. The boats were engaged in pair trawling, a practice banned off the coast of Kerala because of its destructive nature. The Fisheries Department official also said that strict action would be taken against the owners of the boats. The fishermen on board the two boats were from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, said the official.

Pair trawling, also called bull trawling by fishermen, has been banned as even juveniles are frequently caught in these nets. The two boats ‘Joseph Stalin’ and ‘Winstor’ were seized about 26 nautical miles off the coast of Vypeen in the early hours of Wednesday, fishermen’s representatives said.

The fishermen on the traditional inboard engine boats and on the purse-seine boats, who were involved in seizing the boats and nets organised a protest march demanding that the authorities should take strict action against the culprits and that such practices should be prevented in the future.

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