KENDRAPARA: In a bid to facilitate fish breeding process in the sea, the State Government has imposed a two-month restriction on fishing by mechanised vessels and trawlers from April 15 to June 14. This was stated by the Joint Director of Fisheries (Coastal) Pratap Ranjan Rout on Thursday.
Rout said, “Fishermen are instructed to avoid venturing into the sea with their trawlers to prevent disturbances in the breeding process.”
The monsoon trawling ban was introduced in 1998 to help unhindered breeding of fishes during rainy season in the sea.
“Earlier, there was a 45-day ban stretching from April 15 to May 31. But as per the Centre’s directive last year to the Fishery Department of East Coast States, including Odisha, the days have been extended till June 14 making it a 60-day ban,” Rout added.
“We have registered 16,848 fishing vessels, including 1,755 trawlers of the State. During the fishing ban, all mechanised fishing vessels, including 630 trawlers of Paradip fishing harbour, which tend to destroy fish eggs and young ones, will not be allowed to venture into the sea,” the fishery official said.
The ban extends to 12 nautical miles off the Odisha coast and is applicable to all mechanised boats, Rout said, adding that small non-mechanised boats with a length below 8.5 metres which use nets with big gaps are exempted from the ban. “The ban period falls on the breeding season of the fish and is enforced to conserve the fishery resources,” he said.
This ban aims at conserving nearly 300 fish species during the monsoon, which is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp.
The traditional fishermen have been exempted from the fishing ban. However, they are permitted to carry out fishing only in territorial waters and catch only pelagic fish, added Rout.
Meanwhile, fishermen have geared up to undertake repair work of their boats and fishing gear during this 60-day long fishing holiday.