KENDRAPARA: The State Government has decided to impose restrictions on fishing by mechanised fishing vessels from April 15 to June 14 to conserve fish stock in sea during the breeding season. Joint Director (marine) Pratap Rout said to avoid disturbances caused by trawlers during the breeding season, the fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the sea during the ban period.
The monsoon trawling ban was introduced in 1998 to help unhindered breeding of fish during the rainy season in the sea, he added. “The Fishery department has registered 22,037 fishing vessels, including 1,754 trawlers, in the State. During the ban period, all mechanised fishing vessels of the State, including 630 trawlers of Paradip fishing harbour, will not be allowed to venture into the sea. The small non-mechanised boats less than 8.5-metre long, which use nets with big gaps, are exempted from the ban,” he said. The ban extends to 12 nautical miles off the Odisha coast and applies to all kinds of trawlers and mechanised boats more than 8.5-metre long.
The ban aims at conserving fish species during monsoon which is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp, added the official. Monsoon is the breeding season of nearly 300 species, including delicious Hilsa, along the coast of Odisha. The traditional fishermen have been exempted from fishing ban. However, they are permitted to carry out fishing only in territorial waters and catch pelagic fish, he said. Many fishermen welcomed the decision to declare ‘Fishing Holiday’ during breeding period. Meanwhile, the fishery officials have started organising meetings among the marine fishermen to convince them not to fish during the breeding period.