T.N. fishermen reiterate demand for change in ban period


They say that the ban should ideally be during the northeast monsoon when they are unable to venture into the sea due to various systems, including cyclones, in the Bay of Bengal.

Fishermen have reiterated their demand for shifting the annual deep sea fishing ban to October-November instead of April-May.

They say that the ban should ideally be during the northeast monsoon when they are unable to venture into the sea due to various systems, including cyclones, in the Bay of Bengal.

This monsoon, said president of the Gillnet Boat Association R. Varadan, brought copious amounts of rain to the State and forced the fishermen to stay home. โ€œThere have been instances of fishermen and boats going missing during this season. What is the use then of going fishing when the State Fisheries Department issuing tokens and then asking us to return when there is a cyclone warning,โ€ he asked.

Mr. Varadan, who recently went to court seeking change in the 61-day annual ban period from April 14, said that the report of an expert committee in 2014 based on which the ban was being implemented, said that there was no scientific evidence indicating that the fishing ban helped in replenishing fish stock. โ€œThe report could not identify a common peak spawning period for all fish, as different fish species have different spawning months. The solution is not biologically sound,โ€ he said.

Nanjil Ravi of the Akhila Indiya Meenavar Sangam said that the Kerala ban coincided with the onset of the southwest monsoon on the western coast. Tamil Nadu was not affected by that monsoon. The Indian prawn, one among the highest commercial species, spawns mostly in September. A common ban period was not appropriate for the entire east coastal region, Mr. Ravi said.

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