Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.(Photo | Express)

Consider plea to restrict traditional boats fitted with motors during fishing ban, Madras HC told

The petitioner further said the ban is aimed at conservation efforts during the breeding season of numerous prawn and fish species, and added that fishermen stand chances of getting a better catch following the ban period.

MADURAI : The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court during its vacation sitting on Wednesday, directed the fisheries directorate to consider a petition filed by the mechanised boat owners' and fishermen's welfare association seeking to restrict any craft fitted with motors from fishing in East Coast in Pudukkottai district, during the ban period.

A Division Bench of Justices RN Manjula and C Kumarappan issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by association president Asan Mohaideen. In his petition, Mohaideen said members of the association reside in and around the Kottaipattinam seashore village in Pudukkottai district. There are around 300 mechanised boats that go for fishing, besides several traditional fishing crafts such as wooden boats. The central and state governments have imposed a fishing ban for 61 days, from April 15 and June 14 in the east coast, and from June 1 to July 31 in the west coast, from which traditional fishing crafts are exempted.

The petitioner further said the ban is aimed at conservation efforts during the breeding season of numerous prawn and fish species, and added that fishermen stand chances of getting a better catch following the ban period. Stating that officials had failed to prevent illegal fishing during the ban period in 2017, Mohaideen said that the association had approached the High Court, which had directed the officials to ensure that the ban is implemented. That petition, he added, was closed upon submissions by the government counsel.

"This year as well, association members caught some fishermen misusing the exemption granted to traditional fishing crafts. They engage in fishing by fitting fibre boats and country crafts with out board motors (OBM) and in board motors (IBM). Such illegal fishing impacts the purpose of the ban," said the petitioner, and requested the Bench to restrict any vessel fitted with motors to refrain from fishing. 

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