Panaji: St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira’s fishing trawler was on Thursday seized and a fine of Rs 3.08 lakh imposed for carrying out illegal fishing using LED lights off the Malvan coast in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.
This action was initiated against the BJP MLA by the Malvan tehsildar after the vessel named ‘Sao Paulo’ bearing registration number ‘IND-GA-01-MM-396’ was caught red-handed by officials of Maharashtra’s fisheries department while fishing using LED lights, and was taken into custody.
The officials had written to the concerned tehsildar directing him to initiate action as per the Maharashtra Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1981.
The seized fishing vessel is registered in Silveira’s name with the fisheries department of the Goa government.
Consequently Silveira had been asked to be present on Wednesday in the tehsildar’s office.
On Thursday, the tehsildar passed an order, imposing a fine of Rs 3.08 lakh against Silviera.
Reports coming from Sindhudurg district said that ‘submersible deep drop underwater’ green LED fishing light bulbs, two diesel generators, two bunch of electric wires and other equipment used in the illegal fishing operation were officially seized along with the vessel, in accordance with the tehsildar’s order.
The Rs 61,700 worth fish catch was auctioned. The tehsildar imposed the fine five times more than the price of the total fish catch, which came to Rs 3,08,500.
The tehsildar has recommended the Goa fisheries department to immediately cancel the licence and the registration of the vessel.
Sources said that Silveira is likely to appeal against the order before the deputy collector of the Sindhudurg district.