Mangaluru, May 26, 2015: For the first time this year, the monsoon will see the entire west coast of the country adhering to a uniform fishing holiday season for 61 days, from June 1 to July 31.
This will chiefly allow breeding of fish during the monsoon. States on the west coast — Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat - earlier followed varying holiday breaks with different dates. While Kerala had about 47 days, parts of Karnataka had 57 and 47, and Goa about 50. This practice, besides affecting breeding of fish, used to give room to overlap of fishing.
Vasudev Boloor, vice-president of National Fish Workers Forum, spoke to media and said that the forum had been demanding uniform fishing holidays across the west coast for two reasons. The first was to allow unhindered breeding of the fish. The second was to avoid clashes between fishermen of different States.
When fishermen in Karnataka used to observe holidays, fishermen in neighbouring Kerala and Goa would not, as a result those fishermen would venture in to the sea in Karnataka region, resulting in disputes. Many times, Karnataka fishermen had to helplessly watch them taking away the catch. The east coast has fishing holiday for 45 days in April-May, he added.
The forum was in favour of a 90-day fishing holiday, starting from June 1 to August 31. The sea would be warm during the monsoon as fresh waters enter it, thus attracting large hoards of fish to engage in breeding activities, he said. If the Union government proposed such a move, the forum would support it, he said.
Meanwhile, Director of Fisheries Veerappa Gowda said that the 61-day uniform holiday came in after much discussion and persuasion of some unwilling States. Kerala was unwilling to a 61 day holiday, hopefully things will change with better understanding.