Monday, 13 July 2015

Violation of monsoon fishing ban in Goa and fishing rights violations

Date: 13th July 2015
1
To,
The Governor,
Government of Goa
Dona Paula, Goa
2
To,
The Chief Minister,
Government of Goa
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa
3
To,
The Minister of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa
4
To,
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa
5
To,
The Secretary (Fisheries)
Government of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa
6
To,
The Principal Secretary (Environment)
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa
7
To,
The Commissioner & Secretary (Ports)
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa
8
To,
Minister of Environment and Forest,
Secretariat, Panjim, Goa

9
To,
The Captain of Ports,
Panjim, Goa
10
To,
The Collector (North Goa),
Government of Goa
Panjim, Goa
11
To,
The Collector (South Goa)
Government of Goa,
Margao, Goa
12
To,
The Director-General of Police (DGP)
Police Headquarters,
Panjim, Goa
13
To,
The Superintendent of Police (North Goa)
Porvorim, Goa
14
To,
Vishnu Surya Wagh
The Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), St. Andre Constituency, Goa

Subject: Violation of monsoon fishing ban in Goa and fishing rights violations with active connivance of Director of Fisheries, Government of Goa

Madam / Sir
This is to bring to your notice that mechanized trawlers are involved in violation of monsoon fishing ban in Goa from June 01, 2015 to August 31, 2015.
1.    It has been observed that on June 01, 2015 from 5 am onwards there were 8 mechanized trawlers fishing illegally in Zuari near Siridao-Odxel coast.
2.    Bharat Mukti Morcha Cacra Unit convener spoke to Director of Fishieries Sharmila Monteiro as well as Superintendent of Fisheries Mr.Hrishikesh. Both did not commit to stop ongoing fishing ban violations in Zuari River.
3.    What witnessed today in Zuari River is double violations of fishing rights. Firstly trawlers are prohibited to carry on fishing within five kilometers from the shore. So fishing in Zuari River is out of question. Secondly now beginning from June 01st 2015 there is ban on mechanized trawlers from fishing for two months. Illegal Fishing by 8 trawlers on June 01st 2015 inflicted twin fishing rights violations.
4.    Director of Fisheries, Shamila Monteiro was non-co-operative in cracking down on illegal fishing in Zuari and instead is pushing for compromise. Bharat Mukti Morcha does not believe in compromise and if Director of Fisheries Sharmila Monteiro wishes to have her way out of this fishing conflict then Bharat Mukti Morcha also will have our way out and will have our way out to defend fishing rights of traditional fishermen in zuari river.
5.    Bharat Mukti Morcha notes that fishing rights of traditional fishermen in Goa and India are result of hard fought battles by traditional fishermen ‘Ramponkars’ since late 1970s and will not tolerate any bullying from Director of Fisheries. The behavior of Director of Fisheries in defending violation of monsoon ban on fishing in telephonic conversation with Sanjay Pereira, Cacra Convener of Bharat Mukti Morcha on June 01, 2015 is irresponsible to the core. What is most shocking is that the Director spoke objecting fishermen sending sms communications to her about illegal trawlers in river from time to time.
6.    In addition to glaring early fishing rights violation of June 01, 2015 recently there have been five more fishing rights violations.
7.    On May 31, 2015 nine trawlers carried on illegal fishing in Zuari river at 10.55 am.
8.    On May 30, 2015 at 7.10 am two big mechanized trawlers carried on illegal, unethical fishing very close to the Bambolim-Cacra shore in river Zuari. On May 29, 2015 at 2.00 pm two trawlers carried on illegal fishing in river Zuari.
9.    On May 01, 2015 at 3.30 pm two trawlers carried on illegal fishing in river Zuari.
10. On April 30, 2015 at 5.15 pm two trawlers carried on illegal fishing in river Zuari.
All the above violations of fishing rights in Zuari have occurred because of unstinted support to these illegalities on behalf of Director of Fisheries Shamila Monteiro.

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns such a behavior by the Director of Fisheries Shamila Monteiro and advises Government of Goa to terminate her as Director of Fisheries as she is fit only to mismanage Goa’s fisheries by violating fishing rights and justifying her wrong deeds.

Our earlier correspondence to you has placed on record detail instances of fishing rights violations from October 2014 onwards.

Further we wish to put on record highly inconsistent approach of the Fisheries department in Goa on illegal fishing. On 22.12.2014 Fisheries department through the Superintendent of Fisheries directed those indulging in illegal fishing in Zuari not to carry on illegal fishing in Zuari river threatening action against the defaulters. While the same fishing department on 27.04.2015 through its Director Sharmila Monteiro called meeting of the perpetuator trawler organizations and traditional boat owners in Cacra to ‘discuss the  ‘illegal fishing activities in Zuari River by Trawlers’. This is disgustingly shocking U-turn of the department of fisheries and this meeting was boycotted by traditional fishermen. We are of the considered view backed by our experience that such misadventure by Director of Fisheries is bound to promote mismanagement of fisheries in Goa and we recommend strict action against the Director of Fisheries. It is duty of the Director of fisheries to stop trawlers from indulging in illegal fishing in which Director has failed very badly. Instead she has been promoting violation of existing law related to fishing that bans trawling within 5 kms from the coastal shoreline, ban on fishing by trawlers during monsoon, etc.

30 member delegation led by President of Bharat Mukti Morcha’s Goa Unit President Maggie Silveira called on the director of Fisheries Sharmila Monteiro on March 02, 2015 even as the day was full of illegalities in Zuari river with 20 trawlers in the morning at 7.45 am and 28 trawlers in the afternoon at 3.30 pm. During the meeting it came to the fore that the illegal fishing of trawlers was being encouraged by the Director of Fisheries herself. Department was engaged in scheduled patrolling to tackle unscheduled illegal trawling. The schedule is of two hours in a day. When asked as to what happens to illegal fishing control for the remaining 22 hours of the day Director replied ‘God alone knows!’ Director promised to get Patrol boat in Zuari River but did not give any deadline as to when the boat will arrive. Director also disclosed that litigations have been initiated against the offending trawlers caught by police and fisheries department. When asked whether there is ban on trawlers to carry on fishing during the trial period, director answered in negative. So the trawlers carry on repeated violations in this regard. The example of trawler ‘Netra’ owned by Tulsidas Kukalkar was cited to prove this point.

This is completely unacceptable and we call for total ban on illegal fishing by trawlers in Zuari River with full commitment from Department of Fisheries, Government of Goa.

Awaiting your positive and prompt action and expect your action taken report (ATR),

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,



       Sd/-
Maggie Silveira
President, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Goa State

        Sd/-
Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mutkti Morcha,
Cacra unit

         Sd/-
Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Bambolim unit,

         Sd/-
Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Siridao Unit

          Sd/-
Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Curca Unit

          Sd/-
Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Odxel Unit

        Sd/-
Milind Palkar
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Nauxi unit

        Sd/-
Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Siridao Unit
         

        Sd/-
Deu Kankonkar
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Nauxi Unit

        
         Sd/-
Jeronio D’Souza,
Jt. Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Siridao Unit






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