Udupi, Jan 11 2018: The All-Karnataka Purse Seine Fishermen’s Association on Jan 10, Wednesday said the Union government had changed rules on usage of lights by fishing boats without taking them or their conditions into consideration.
Members of the association, who arrived in large numbers at the Udupi District Offices Complex, submitted a memorandum to Udupi DC Priyanka Mary Francis. In the memorandum, Gurudas Bangera, president of the association, has said that purse seine boat fishing is one of the types of fishing practised by fishermen on the coastline. There are about 700 purse seine boats in the nine fisheries harbours in the State, and 35 to 40 fishermen are employed in one boat.
“Hence, there are about 28,000 purse seine boat fishermen. These fishermen take to fishing after the monsoon and used to use halogen light for catching fish, which was permitted by the Union government for the past two years. Such fishing is done in other countries also,” the memorandum said.
The protesters said “some forces” had recently issued statements that this type of fishing led to fish famine, and had also submitted a memorandum to government officials on the matter. These officers had issued an order prohibiting the use of lights without bothering about the fate of the thousands of purse seine boat fishermen and their families, they said.
They said the order would also affect fish loaders, vans and trucks transporting fish and ice plants. Purse seine boat fishermen have taken bank loans for their boats and were fishing outside a radius of 12 nautical miles from the coast so that their fishing did not affect other fishermen, just like the deep sea trawlers.
This kind of fishing is done only for 13 days a month. The allegation that this type of fishing will destroy small fish is misleading, they said, adding that the purse seine boat fishermen were, in fact, using the halogen lights provided by authorities.