MARGAO: Stating that the Centre has banned bull trawling and LED light fishing in coastal states, Goa Forward Party (GFP) president and Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, along with Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar, on Saturday said that the ban beyond the territorial waters of Goa is dedicated to Goan Ramponnkars or the traditional fishermen, who agitated for it in Panaji.
Demanding a ban on the use of LED lights by mechanised fishing trawlers, as it affects the fish population, traditional fishermen in the state had led an agitation some months back. The protest had turned violent, as police had to resort to a mild lathi-charge to curb the situation.
“Bull and pair trawling and fishing with LED lights or fish light attractors in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) beyond the territorial waters has been banned by the Centre. The Goa government had also placed this demand before it. Orders have been issued to the Coast Guard to keep a check,” said Sanjay Pandey, assistant commissioner of fisheries (Union government) during a press briefing in Margao on Saturday. He said that the order instructs all the maritime states and the Union territories to take necessary steps to prevent the use of LED lights within and beyond their territorial waters.
“We thank the Union government for the ban. The issue was raised during the last month’s seminar held in Delhi. This law will help improve marine wealth. We dedicate this ban to the Ramponnkars, who have fought for it in Panaji,” said Sardesai adding that this government is committed to implement the ban in letter and spirit.
Palyekar said that the Coast Guard and coastal police have been empowered to monitor activities and take necessary action. “If trawler owners are found violating the order on ban, their equipment will be seized at jetty,” Palyekar said.
On being asked why the issuance of this order was delayed, Pandey said that
time was consumed in studying the matter and its implications. “A preliminary study was done. We studied the matter in detail and for that, little time was consumed. It’s not late.’’
He said a uniform fishing ban of 61 days is observed in all the states as per the arrival of monsoon, except in Kerala. This will help fish breed effectively, he said.