KOCHI: In the wake of reports on fishing boats netting small and endemic fish for preparing poultry feed, the Marine Enforcement Wing under the Fisheries Department conducted checking and seized three boats from Munambam in the wee hours of Thursday.
The seized boats are Infant Jesus, St Malachy and Friend owned by persons in Munambam.
The checking was conducted by a team under K M Sajeevan, Circle Inspector, Marine Enforcement Wing, following the direction given by P V Parameswaran, Joint Director of Fisheries Department. The officials with the Marine Enforcement Wing said that around six boxes of small fish were found from these boats.
“As per the guidelines, the fishermen have to free small fish caught in their nets. Since some of the poultry farms based in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu started buying small fish for preparing poultry feeds, the fishermen are bringing the small fish to the shore and selling it to the agents. Some of the small fish are endemic. Catching these small fish would affect fish population,” the official said.
The Marine Enforcement Wing released the boats after imposing a fine of `28,750 on the owners for violating the norms.
“The checking would be continued as we have information that such illegal activities are becoming rampant in the state. The agents of the poultry farms and companies are active in the ports. Such illegal activities are regular in ports like Mangalore and Tuticorin. We are also looking to trace the agents who purchase small fish from here,” the official said.