Bhayandar : Although they have welcomed the decision to ban purse seine net fishing beyond 12 nautical miles, the fishing community which still uses traditional methods have requested the government authorities to extend restrictions upto 50 nautical miles.

An appeal to this effect has been made by the fishermen under the aegis of the Paramparik Kav Dhanda Bachao Samiti. It should be noted that thousands of fishermen from the coastal belt of Dahanu-Palghar-Vasai-Uttan are still engaged in traditional fishing practices. However, it has been alleged that purse seine net fishing which encircles entire schools of fish using a technique that resembles drawing of purse strings has been a major reason behind depleting fish stock.

This consequently has deprived thousands of traditional fishermen of their livelihood.

A large number of fishing boats have already been grounded owing to a huge drop in fish catch. “The 12-nautical mile ban is a welcome decision. However, if the range is extended it would be a major respite to thousands of traditional fishermen,” said fishing community leader Philip Mastan.

A panel of experts appointed to study the impact of purse seine net fishing on aquatic life has made 25 recommendations which, according to government authorities, will be enforced in a phase-wise manner.

Suresh Golani

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