Fishermen leader moves Bombay HC, complains about lack of action to stop banned purse seine nets, high-density LED lights
Purse seine nets are used to capture large amounts of fish and high-capacity LED lights are used to attract them. The petition said notifications issued in November 2017 and April 2018 banned bothUpdated: Sep 12, 2020 14:49 IST
The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Centre and the Maharashtra government to respond within three weeks to a petition against inaction in stopping the use of ecologically dangerous and banned purse seine nets and high capacity LED lights for fishing.
In his petition, Akhil Maharashtra Macchimar Kruti Samittee chairman Damodar Tandel said no action has been taken to stop the banned activities reported mostly off the coast of Ratnagiri despite repeated complaints.
Purse seine nets are used to capture large amounts of fish and high-capacity LED lights are used to attract them. The petition said notifications issued in November 2017 and April 2018 banned both.
“In addition to being a highly ecologically damaging method of fishing, these purse seine boats require considerable manpower-- ordinarily 30 to 40 individuals on board to handle the operations, thus making it impossible to follow the Covid-19 lockdown norms.”
Tandel said despite stringent restrictions imposed in view of Covid-19 lockdown, hundreds of boats without authorised licenses were found to be manoeuvring and trawling, using purse seine nets and LED lights in Maharashtra. He added a number of fishermen, who fish for the sustenance of their families, were targeted.
“These illegal fishing activities allow the lawbreakers to unjustly profit at the expense of the entire fishing community which was forced to suspend operations,” said the petition. “This lack of action, especially considering the mandates banning purse seine trawling and the usage of LED-lights for fishing, is extremely disappointing to the fishermen community at large who are collectively fighting to curb this destructive practice.”