KOCHI:As part of an ongoing project to popularise square mesh cod ends in trawl nets, the Network for Fish Quality Management and Sustainable Fishing (NETFISH), will distribute ten square mesh cod ends free of cost to trawl boats at a function to be held at Munambam Harbour here on Wednesday at 10.30 am.
“We had conducted awareness programmes for fishermen at Munambam in July and many fishermen had expressed willingness to shift to sustainable fishing. Then, MPEDA promised to provide square mesh cod ends free of cost to 10 fisher folk who volunteered to use square mesh cod ends,” said N K Santhosh, state coordinator of NETFISH.
NETFISH, a division of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), has been engaged in creating awareness among fisher folk on the importance of shifting to sustainable fishing means by avoiding juvenile fishing and destructive trawling. An earlier research by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) showed that the square mesh cod end will reduce by-catch and allow juveniles to escape from the net thus making it a more acceptable mode of fishing operation.
NETFISH took up extension activities on square mesh cod ends and conducted field trials, with the participation of local fishermen off the coast of Munambam. These activities proved that square mesh will considerably reduce by-catch as well as bring down fuel consumption when compared to diamond-shaped cod ends. Convinced by the results of the field trials, various fisher organisations, including Fishing Boat Owners and Operators Coordination Committee of Munambam expressed willingness to shift to square mesh.
K N Vimal Kumar, joint director of MPEDA, K J Prasannakumar, Fisheries Joint Director, Dr Joice V Thomas, NETFISH chief executive officer, M K Sambasivan, general manager, Matsyafed net factory and representatives of various fisher organisations will participate in the function to be held at fishing boat operators welfare association hall, Munambam.