Project to assess impact of trawling in Gulf of Mannar

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust, (GOMBRT), Ramanathapuram, has sanctioned a project on assessment of impact of trawling in Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Trust region . The Fisheries College and Research Institute in Tuticorin, a constituent of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai, will undertake the project at an outlay of Rs.6,83,100

The commercially important fishes, crabs, lobsters and shrimps were being fished heavily in this region by trawl nets. Owing to the chasing of few fishes with many vessels, the catch has declined, V.K. Venkataramani, Director, Research and Extension, FCRI, said here on Tuesday.

“There is also no record of the optimal fishing effort to be in force in this region. Due to indiscriminate trawling with 20mm mesh in the cod end, coastal fishery suffers heavily due to over fishing. Hence the need of the hour is to conserve the exploited fishery resources of Gulf of Mannar,” he said.

The present investigation would mainly focus on quantifying the excess catch of juveniles and mature fishes of highly exploited fish. Suggestions would be given to policy-makers on the number of trawlers to be used at major fish landing centres of Gulf of Mannar for optimising the fish catch. Suitable strategies would be evolved for judicious management of fishery in this marine biosphere. Besides, the exact spawning season for the highly exploited commercially important species would be predicted and closed. The present trawl designs of Gulf of Mannar would be documented and suggestions would be made to rectify the technical plan of the existing design to avoid juvenile and over fishing.

N.Neethiselvan, Professor and Director of Research and Extension would be the principal investigators of the project, he added.

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