Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM) welcomes intiative of Police Inspector Nerlon Albuquerque of Harbour Coastal Security Police Station on the question of illegal fishing in Zuari River. BMM has been consistently highlighting this issue for past four years. BMM however believes that police action has to go beyond interaction to a concrete action against the offenders. There are daily violations of fishing laws in Zuari by trawlers and purse seine fishing boats. Today 11/09/2018 itself there were 30 purse seine boats indulged in violation of law at 10.10 am in Zuari river.
According to Rule 10(1) of the Goa, Daman and Diu Fisheries Rules, 1981 “No person shall use a net the mesh size whereof is less than 24 mm for catching fish and 20 mm for catching prawns” What is the mesh size of purse seine nets? Far less. How many of them are registered with fisheries department? None.
Goa Government banned trawlers from fishing within 5 kms from the shoreline under section (2)(H) and section 4(1) of Marine Fishing Regulations Act, 1980 on July 09, 1981. Its implementation however takes place only in regular disciplined breach causing deep blows to marine ecology and livelihood options of the fishing communities.
In 2017 Directorate of Fisheries via notification Order no. DF/ENF/ORDER/2016-17, Official Gazette, Series II, No. 41, January 12, delegated powers to take action on illegal fishing to the following:
1. Deputy Director, Directorate of Fisheries
2. Superintendent of Fisheries, Directorate of Fisheries
3. Assistant Superintendent of Fisheries, Directorate of Fisheries
4. Fisheries Officer, Directorate of Fisheries
5. Police Inspector
6. Police Sub-Inspector
7. Assistant Police Sub-Inspector
8. Head Constable
10. Joint Mamlatdar
11. Block Development Officer (B.D.O)
All of them has proved to be failures in tackling the issue of illegal fishing in Zuari.
BMM hopes that Coastal Police will explain the above laws to the fishing rights offenders and stop this menace completely.
Entire Fisheries Ministry lacks Statesmanship as well as leadership. Minister is a flop and so the Secretary Fisheries in the same boat. There is regular match fixing at the highest level to promote illegal fishing at Zuari river motivated by greed and avarice.
BMM wishes Nerlon Albuquerque all the best and extend support and collaboration in whatever possible even though he has carefully kept BMM out of this meeting called at Ribandar so that our members are not able to participate today. Anyway as Goa’s fisheries laws are clear it is the duty of Fisheries department and the Coastal Police to implement them in Zuari river in following manner: Zero tolerance to trawlers in Zuari, and zero tolerance to purse seine fishing in Zuari.
Reply to MLA Carlos Almeida in Goa Legislative Assembly by Goa Fisheries in July 2018 says it all: Found only one trawler fishing illegally in Zuari river. One can safely conclude that Zuari river has be handed over to be looted and plundered. This must stop!