The government, cleaning up the oil spill caused by the collision of two ships, asked fishermen to stop fishing. While he stopped short of asking people not to eat fish, Environment Minister Suresh Shetty said: "We have asked people in fishing hamlets to not consume fish. I can’t advise Mumbaikars to eat or not eat fish."
The no-fishing advisory won’t affect big trawlers venturing into the deep sea because there is a ban on fishing anyway till August 15 because of the monsoon and because it’s the breeding season. Most of the fish Mumbai consumes is supplied by trawlers.
Mumbai is currently being supplied fish from Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam and Orissa.
"The fear is only for those who catch surface-level fish in creeks and inter-tidal areas such as Murud Janjira," said R.K. Patil, chairman, Maharashtra Machimaar Kruti Samiti.
"There will be an impact if the oil seeps into the sand and rocks, where the eggs are laid," said Deepak Apte, assistant director, Bombay Natural History Society. Depending on the impact, commercially important organisms such as crabs, pomfret and mackerel could be affected.