Checks on juvenile fishing intensified
Checks on juvenile fishing intensified

Checks on juvenile fishing intensified

Two boats detained following reports of juvenile mackerel catch
In the backdrop of rampant juvenile fishing, the Fisheries Department has swung into action, carrying out checks on fishing boats arriving with catch at fish landing centres in the district.
An official of the department said that two boats had been detained on Wednesday after the department received information that juvenile mackerels had been caught. However, the official said that on examining the fish, it was found that the bulk of them was not below the minimum legal size prescribed by the State government. However, the boat owners and fishermen were let off with a warning against engaging in juvenile fishing.
The official said that the department was also conducting inspections to prevent unhealthy fishing practices like pelagic trawling in which two boats are used as a pair to fish. Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi said that there had been reports of pair trawling off the shores of Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Thrissur recently, and that the department should take action against such practices.
He added that both traditional fishermen and boat owners had agreed to refrain from juvenile fishing, and that initial reports on juvenile mackerels being caught were bad news owing to the precarious fish availability situation off the Kerala coast. He appealed to the Fisheries Department to take stringent action against any boat engaged in juvenile fishing and called for awareness campaigns among fishermen about the danger to fish resources posed by juvenile fishing. Mr. George claimed that traditional fishermen had adhered to the call for refraining from juvenile fishing in the past, but that the Chellanam incident on Wednesday was a pointer that the community needed to be made aware of the situation.
A meeting is being convened on Friday to discuss the issues as traditional fishermen in Ernakulam district have followed the norm against juvenile fishing so far, he said.

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