KOCHI: In separate incidents, the Marine Enforcement Wing under the Fisheries Department impounded two fishing boats from Vypeen Harbour on Wednesday evening for using illegal pelagic nets and operating without a licence.A team led by K J Shibu Kumar, Inspector Marine Enforcement Wing, Vypeen, has taken fishing boats ‘Sahaya Matha’ and ‘Holy Angel’ into custody. “’Sahaya Matha’ was seized for using pelagic net for fishing, which has been banned by the government. Pelagic net swipes out the entire fish population, including juvenile fish, causing damage to the eco-system,” an officer said. Meanwhile, fishing boat ‘Holy Angel’, which came from Tamil Nadu, was operating without any valid licence. As per the guidelines, all boats operating in Indian coast should have a valid licence.
Completing the impounding procedures, the Marine Enforcement Wing sold off the fish worth `2,15,000 stocked in ‘Sahaya Matha’ boat. A fine of Rs 69,000 was slapped on the boat owner for illegal activity. Similarly, a fine of `46,000 was imposed on the owner of ‘Holy Angel’. “Though directives were issued against the use of pelagic fishing nets, some fishing vessels are still secretively carrying it. Last month, we seized at least 10 boats involved in such illegal activities. Our drive will continue until boat owners stop using pelagic nets,” the officer.