Fishermen oppose seismic survey, nod to fishing in breeding season; stage black flag protest at sea fronts in Uttan

To register their opposition against the seismic oil survey and reduction of fishing ban period from 61 days to 47 days, hundreds of fishing community members including women and children gathered at various sea fronts across the coastal areas of Uttan near Bhayandar and launched a peaceful agitation by waving black flags and shouting slogans against the government on Monday. 

To compensate for the 15-day loss of trade owing to a ban during the initial stages of the lockdown, the central government authorities have postponed the annual monsoon fishing ban to June 15 from the earlier June 1 in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

However, the state government has retained the 61-day ban period. 

Fishermen oppose seismic survey, nod to fishing in breeding season; stage black flag protest at sea fronts in Uttan

“Reducing the period, defeats the sole purpose of the fishing ban aimed at conserving fish species during monsoon which is the spawning season for many varieties of fish,” said Bernard D’mello of the Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samithi led by Damodar Tandel.  

“The agitation also covered our protest against seismic oil survey blasts on the seabed which has been damaging the marine life and depleting the fish-stock,” said municipal corporator Sharmila Bagaji.

The quaint fishing villages including Uttan, Pali, Dongri, Bhatte Bunder and Chowk is home to more than 750 fishing boats in the region. Considered a mandated strategy for conservation and management of fisheries resources, the 61 day ban from June 1 to July 31 has been in existence since 2012. Earlier, the ban had lasted 75 days from June 1 to August 15.

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