KENDRAPARA: The 60-day ban on deep sea fishing along Odisha coast to conserve fish stock during the breeding season, will come into force from Sunday. The Government has imposed restrictions on fishing by mechanised boats during the ban which will remain in effect till June 14.
Joint Director (Marine) Pratap Rout said fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the the sea to avoid causing any disturbances to the fish stock during the breeding season. Mechanised vessels and trawlers are also prohibited from fishing during the ban period, he said.The monsoon ban was introduced in 1998 to help unhindered breeding of fish in the sea during rainy season.
“There are 22,037 fishing vessels including 1754 trawlers registered with the Fishery department in the State. All these mechanised vessels including 630 trawlers of Paradip Fishing Harbour will not be allowed to venture into the sea. However, small non-mechanised boats less than 8.5 metre long and use nets with big gaps, are exempted from the ban,” Rout said.
The ban aims at conserving fish species during the monsoon, which is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp. The ban extends to 12 nautical miles off Odisha coast, the official said.The monsoon is the breeding season of nearly 300 species including the delicious Hilsa fish along the coast of Odisha.
Though traditional fishermen have been exempted from the ban, they are permitted to fish in territorial waters and catch only pelagic fish, Rout said.Meanwhile, many fishermen welcomed the Government’s move to declare a ‘fishing holiday’ during the breeding period.
A large number of fishing vessels will be anchored at jetties during the period while boat owners are gearing up to undertake repair work on their vessels and fishing gear.Rout further said Fishery officials have started organising meetings with the marine fishermen to convince them against fishing during the breeding period.