Friday 3 November 2017

Fisheries administration in Zuari river paralyzed!

Date: 03/11/2017

Minister of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa

The Secretary (Fisheries),
Government of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa

Subject: Fisheries administration paralyzed: Illegal purse seine fishing continues in Zuari

Dear Sirs,

We are pained yet again to bring to your attention complete collapse of Fisheries department administration in Zuaririver. Over the past few days here has been rampant illegal fishing by Zuaririver by mini purse seine boats. On 31/10/2017 morning there were 08 boats from 07.00 am to 09.00 am and evening 20 mini purse seine boats that carried on illegal fishing from 4.00 pm till night.
We contacted to complain Fisheries department over the phone on both occasion; morning and evening. In the morning Fisheries department patrol boat instead of coming towards Siridao-OdxelCoast  - where the illegal fishing was going on – went towards Vasco and halted in river. From the boat we were contacted and told that there are no mini purse seine boats carrying on illegal fishing. This way of behavior on the part of Fisheries department personnel is clear symptom of deep rooted corruption as illegal fishing is allowed through nexus with mini purse seine boats.
In the evening when the boats were noticed again from 4.00 pm onwards we contacted Fisheries department over the phone. We were given shocking reply: Two Patrol Boats of
Fisheries department have proceeded to Utorda in South Goa to provide protection to visiting VIP! There are several questions arise here:
1.      Why should traditional fishermen’s needs be kept without fulfilling when illegal fishing is taking place in Zuari river.
2.      Why should Fisheries department have only two boats if additional non-fishing duties are imposed on these patrol boats of the department?
3.      Why permanent patrol boats are not stationed in Zuari river when we have been complaining about illegal fishing since 2014?
These purse seine boats have Computer screen with fish finders installed, based on this information they lay their nets in round shape as big as 50 to 100 meters. All the fish on that spot around 2 tons or 3 tons (per boat) they catch at once. While when we fish with Gill net we will catch 2 tons or 3 tons fish for a year. While these boats take 2 tons, 3 tons at a time. This is affecting us. Whatever we could have got they take away leaving river in depleted state. We, fish breeding and multiplication are affected here very badly.We warn again that fish famine will soon be reality if purse seine nets allowed to be used in rivers like Zuari. We had already communicated this to you in our letter dated 13/10/2017 but repeat again deliberately.
These boats are also banned from fishing within 5 kilometers from the shore. They do not obey. They do what they want in violating the ban. They purposely violate the ban. They come straight on to us aggressively with two outboard machines to their canoes. When they come against our nets they get torn off specially nets of yelleo, mackerels, sorkhuteo, others nets too they too get torn off. After our nets are cut off we suffer loss as portion of our nets get torn off and we don’t get fish.
Minister of Fisheries had set the precedence of rolling heads with action against Director of Fisheries ShamilaMonteiro in September 2017. This is welcome and great step even though not enough, more heads involved in corruption and protection of illegal fishing in Zuari must roll on. We request that you take necessary action in this regard.
We wish to let you know again that we are not against any fishermen fishing in Zuari but are against use of purse seine fishing net. We had complaint earlier too and Director of Fisheries vide letter Ref. no. DF/ENF/BHARAT-MUKTI/5583/2015-16 dated 09/12/2015 had instructed all the fishing organization in the state of Goa that Government has decided to approve purse seine fishing nets to be used by motorised canoes to be operated beyond 5 kms. Here is link for your ready reference:
We request you again the following:-
(1)      Strict implementation of Director of Fisheries circular Ref. no. DF/ENF/BHARAT-MUKTI/5583/2015-16  dated 09/12/2015
With regard of constant denial of illegal fishing by some official fisheries department we suggest that you implement the following:
1.      We realized that entire fishing bureaucracy currently is corrupt so please share mobile number of Secretary (Fisheries).with us so that we and traditional fishermen can contact the officer directly.
2.      Minister of Fisheries must personally visit sites of illegal fishing after any of the traditional fishermen complains of illegal fishing in Zuari.
3.      Minister of Fisheries already acknowledged receipts of the video of those carrying on illegal fishing in Zuari over the phone. Initiate strict action against those identified in the video.
4.      Station personnel attached to the Fisheries department in villages of Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra and Odxel to monitor illegal fishing especially during night time. We advise that these personnel be equipped with night vision binoculars and night vision video cameras to record incidents of illegal fishing in Zuaririver.
5.      Establish better co-ordination with the officers responsible to stop illegal fishing as per law including Police department that currently is refusing to act.

We urge you to immediately stop illegal fishing in River Zuari so that we contribute our might towards comprehensive defense of Goa’s rivers and traditional fishermen that contribute sustainable fisheries as against purse seine boats and trawlers whose fishing practices are totally unsustainable. We hope that you understood what we wish to convey to you: Act effectively for IAS cadre/officer and Goa Cabinet Minister do not need so many reminder letters from us to fulfill your legal duties.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Maggie Silveira,
President, Goa State

Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra unit  

Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim unit

Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit

Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Curca Unit

Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Odxel Unit

Milind Palkar
Convener, Nauxi unit

Ms. Kalpana Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Siridao Unit

Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Honu Divkar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit

Deu Kankonkar
Secretary, Nauxi Unit

Yeshwant Shirvoikar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit

Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener, Odxel unit

Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit

Francis Coelho,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit

Ms. Jaya Kuttikar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Dulba Pereira,
Co-convener,Cacra Unit

Jonu Shirvoikar,
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Santosh Gauns,
Co-convener,Cacra Unit 

Ms. Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener, Cacra Unit

Vijay Sawant,
Co-convener, Cacra Unit

Ashok Kukalkar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Ganashyam Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel

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