AGFF praises fishing ban extension


Welcoming Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s decision to increase the fishing ban to 75 days, the All Goa Fishing Federation (AGFF) has however insisted that the government should adhere to three main requirements if the ban is to be enforced in the larger interest of the State.
Representatives of all six AGFF-affiliated marketing federations at Chapora, Malim, Kharewaddo (Vasco), Harbour (Vasco), Colva and Cutbona met at Verna on Saturday to discuss to implications of Parrikar’s decision to increase the fishing ban in the State to 75 days.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the chief minister’s decision as it will greatly benefit the breeding season and will ensure a high fish yield throughout the year. About 20 years ago, we would venture into the sea after the Nariyal Poornima or Ganesh festival and we would net in a huge catch of the prized solar shrimps. We must work together to enforce this ban in the larger interest of the State,” said AGFF President John Mendes. “However we have three main requirements if the government is to enforce the 75-day fishing ban in the State. First, this fishing ban should apply to all mechanised fishing vessels, including motorised canoes, should be prevented from venturing into the sea during this period. Second, mechanised vessels from neighbouring states should not be allowed to enter Goa waters during this period or else, the fishing ban will make no sense at all,” he added.
Mendes has also insisted that the Marine Police and fisheries department be sufficiently equipped to strictly enforce the rules.
“At present, Marine Police and fisheries department do not enforce the rules. Most of the fishing vessels which have been seized for various violations have been caught by our own trawlers and at our own expense. When we seek the intervention of the authorities, the fisheries department claim they have insufficient staff, while the Marine Police claims they have smaller boats incapable of intercepting trawlers. We request the government to equip the Marine Police with larger and more powerful boats,” said Mendes.
He also insisted that politicians should be united in enforcing the fishing ban. “Sometimes, politicians instigate local fishermen to venture into the sea during the ban and this will only jeopardise the yield during other months of the year. If we all work together, this increased fishing ban will not only promote and sustain marine life in the sea, it will also provide Goans a greater yield of the fish throughout the year,” Mendes said. [H]