The stringent measures taken by the Fisheries Department to prevent trash fishing off the Kozhikode coast are yet to show results as some fishermen still like to pursue it with the support of a few non-Kerala fertilizer companies.
According to leaders of various fishermen’s organisations, the recent crackdown by the Fisheries Department against some of the fishers from Beypore has only caused further resentment. “The big sharks in the business continue to enjoy full freedom in the sea with out facing any legal action,” they say.
‘Small fishers targeted’
Karichal Preman, president of Beypore Harbour Development committee, says the fishermen feel that the marine enforcement squads only target the small fishers.
“This is at a time when the bigger mechanised boats uninterruptedly carry out trash fishing off the Kozhikode coast and return to the harbours in Mangalore or Kanyakumari to sell it,” he adds.
“The marine enforcement wing has very limited facilities to carry out deep sea enforcement. They simply wait along the harbours to target the local fishermen and confiscate their stock,” says Mr. Preman. According to him, the fishers from the Kozhikode coast will be able to cooperate with the ban on trash fishing only when it is enforced against the bigger players in the business.
A Fisheries Department official said they have taken on rent the required number of patrol boats to strengthen their coastal surveillance. The fishing of inedible varieties, especially those below the Minimum Legal Size (MLS) is a punishable offence and stringent action will be taken against the offenders under the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, he warned.
The official also said that they managed to seize around 4,000 kg of trash fish since the beginning of 2016 from various locations.