Mangaluru, Jan 27, 2019: Traditional boat fishermen staged a flash protest at Mangaluru Fishing Dock on Saturday, opposing the use of LED lights for fishing by mechanised fishing vessels, including motorized fishing crafts.
The protest was held in front of the office of the assistant director of fisheries, where tens of fishermen gathered. Traditional fishermen alleged that mechanised fishing vessels were violating the ban imposed by the government on fishing using artificial lights, which attracts fish during the night. The protesters also urged dealers not to buy fish caught by Purse-Sein and other boats that use LED lights for fishing.
In November, 2017, the Union government had imposed a ban on the use of LED lights for deep sea fishing, as it posed a threat to traditional fishermen, and caused the death of small fishes.
The LED light fishing usually takes place between December and February, a season that sees less fish being caught. Rajesh Puthran, general secretary, Trawl Boat Fishermen Association, alleged that it is against the rules, and already a few boats fitted with LED lights have entered the sea for fishing.
Ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries have also banned fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters by bull or pair trawling. The order also prohibited use or installation or operation of surface or submerged artificial lights/LED lights, fish light attractors or any other light equipment with or without generator on mechanized fishing vessels or motorised fishing craft for trawling, Purse-Seining and grill netting operations in the Indian EEZ beyond territorial waters. The order will be binding on all fishing vessels and their supporting, supply and auxiliary vessels operating in the Indian EEZ. The ministry has requested the Coast Guard to take necessary steps to prevent the use of LED lights for fishing.
In Dakshina Kannada, LED light fishing commenced five years ago. The technique uses lights attached to the structure above water or suspended underwater to attract fish to specific areas, and it is caught by using nets. During this fishing, there are complaints that fingerlings or small fishes get caught, which results in the loss of fish resources for the next season.
Fishermen also have warned a massive protest on Monday, if no action is taken against the banned LED light fishing.
Courtesy: Times of India