GRE welcomes extended fishing ban period


 Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) welcomes the decision taken by the government to increase the period of the fishing ban from 45 days to 75 days. They said that their former leader, late Matanhy Saldanha, had demanded a band of 90 days in toto.
The president of GRE, Mr Agnelo Rodrigues said, “All those stating that solar prawns would not be available to fish after the ban period, need to realise that if we do not allow the fish to breed and if there is no control with regards to over fishing, Goa will soon face a fish famine; besides, solar prawns are available throughout the year.”
He further said that although the Supreme Court in its judgment, allowed canoes with outboard motors to fish throughout the year, the traditional fishermen are ready to sacrifice for the cause of the environment and the future of marine growth. However the trawler owners do not seem to take into consideration the sacrifices made by the traditional ramponkars, instead they constantly fish within 5 km, thereby violating the rights of the traditional fishermen and the law, even after repeated complaints over the years. He called for round-the-clock strict patrolling within the 5 km zone in order to stop these violations, which needs to be followed in letter and spirit.
He added that the trawler owners are constantly violating the norms in terms of size and engines of trawlers. He said that boats are allowed legally to be upto 60 feet; however, there are trawlers which have exceeded the limit crossing 70 feet and have also attached high speed illegal China-made engines. No action has been taken against these illegal boats, said Mr Rodrigues. GRE demands that the government immediately seize such trawlers and punish the violators along with the officials in the fisheries department who have ignored such illegalities.
He also pleaded with the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar and the Fisheries Minister, Mr Avertano Furtado, to urge the neighboring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra to increase their fishing ban period too, so that marine life can breed in a larger area, thereby making the purpose of the fish ban in Goa fruitful.
GRE further welcomes the decision for providing subsidy for the purchase of petrol engines and are grateful to the government for naming the scheme after their leader Matanhy Saldanha, who fought relentlessly for the fishing community. [NT]