Fishermen stage black flag protest in Uttan to protest against seismic survey, govt nod to fishing in breeding season
Suresh Golani

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, 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 15, June from the earlier 1, June in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However, the state government has retained the 61-day ban period. “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 as mandated strategy for conservation and management of fisheries resources, the 61 day ban from 1, June 1 to 31, July is in existence since 2012. Earlier the term of the ban lasted 75 days from 1, June to 15, August.

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