11 K’taka trawlers seized for fishing in Goan waters

The coastal police on Sunday seized 11 trawlers from Karnataka for carrying out fishing activities in the jurisdiction of the Cutbona jetty at Betul.

According to the police, the trawlers eluded the Coast Guard, entered Goan waters and reached the Cutbona jetty to carry out fishing there. The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Coastal), Mr Waman Tari said that they seized the trawlers from the neighbouring state after a complaint was lodged and added that verification of the persons working on the trawlers was in progress.
Stating that the police have not registered any offence or arrested anyone yet, Mr Tari said that they conducted the panchanama in the presence of officers from the fisheries department, who, he said, would carry out the investigation process. He said that the addresses and other documents of the crew members were being checked. Police inspector, Mr Gurudas Gavde and staff of coastal police was present at Cutbona when the trawlers were seized.
Sources in the fisheries department said that carrying out of fishing activity by trawlers from other states in Goan waters was illegal. It is understood that a case would be filed against the crewmembers of the trawlers under the Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1981, for violation of fishing rules.
Some local trawler owners claimed that illegal fishing activity has been going on for the last several years and despite their complaints to the fisheries department and the coastal police, "no efforts have been made to control such illegalities." They further said that illegal fishing activity in state waters by boats from other states has severely affected the catch of local trawlers.
Representatives of the Goan Fishing Boat Owners’ Association had recently called on the Fisheries Minister, Mr Avertano Furtado and narrated to him their grievances, urging him to look into the matter. Mr Furtado had agreed to take up the issue and held a meeting with officials of the coastal police, fisheries department and representatives of the fishing boat owners’ association. He had assured that five coastal police vessels along with officials from the fisheries department, and trawler owners would patrol the waters within five nautical miles to keep the trawlers from other states at bay. [NT]