Thursday, 15 February 2018

Objections to GCZMA 14/11/2017 decision to permit dumping dredged material to MPT near Grand Island

Date: 07/02/2018

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

The Member Secretary,
The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA),
Porvorim, Goa

Subject: Objections to GCZMA 14/11/2017 decision to permit dumping dredged material to MPT near Grand Island


You may be aware that it’s common experience of Goa Fishermen that fish catch available near Grand Island is in abundance. In addition the scientific study is already in public domain to further substantiate this fact. We wish to bring this to your attention that study titled “FISH ASSEMBLAGES OF GRANDE ISLAND, SITUATED ALONG SOUTHWEST COAST OF INDIA” is published in Journal named “Biodiversity & Evaluation: Perspectives and Paradigm shifts” in 2015. Paper is authored by G. B. Sreekanth, N. Manju Lekshmi, N. P. Singh and Ajey Patil. This study is important and we share its abstract for your information as under:

This research work was carried out to study and monitor the fish communities of Grande Island, an Island ecosystem in Goa, southwest coast of India through underwater visual census performed by SCUBA divers. For this, the diversity and abundance of fish communities were estimated from the natural reef patches of the Island. A total of 85 fish species were counted on natural reef patches of Grande Island. Both the species richness (7.5) and diversity (3.12) were comparatively high and it indicated that the natural reef patches of the Island holds rich and diversified fish assemblages. The high diversity and abundance of the species of fisheries importance in the Island ecosystem indicated that it support local fisheries. There were 25 ecologically less resilient fish species and 15 vulnerable fish species observed and it proved that the natural reef patches of Island provide shelter for vulnerable fish species. However, overexploitation of fishery resources might be resulted as the fishermen will be attracted to these rich fish habitats. Thus, an appropriate control measure is required in the form of policy to monitor and protect these ecosystems to ensure the fisheries sustainability of surrounding waters.

Now even as there is call for a policy to monitor and protect ecosystems around Grand Island 163rd meeting held on 14th November 2017, the GCZMA has gone ahead to forward MPT project of dredging of approach channel and dump dredged material near Grand Island to MoEF & CC as recorded as case no:4.9 in the minutes of the meeting.
What is worse is that Goa’s fisheries minister is silent on this and has not taken any note of the grave situation this will pose. This is really bad and terrible and needs immediate halt for the sake of protecting Goa’s Fisheries. Further we also want to share the conclusion of this study for you to know as under:

Our investigation recorded higher levels of species richness and abundance in natural reefs of Grande Island. Greater species richness, abundance and diversity of fish communities suggest that the Island provide unique, complex and heterogeneous habitat features for the diverse fish species. The Island was also abundant with fisheries important species and it contributes substantially to the local fishery resources…Thus, an appropriate control measure is required in the form of policy to monitor and protect the island ecosystem to ensure the fisheries sustainability of surrounding waters.

We are totally opposed to this decision of GCZMA and calls upon GCZMA to immediately withdraw its decision. We also call upon Fisheries Minister to
1.     Speak up and oppose this decision by writing to GCZMA as well as to MoEF & CC.

2.     To set up Fisheries Defense Study Cell within Directorate of Fisheries to get advance insights to defend Fisheries sustainability of Goa.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Maggie Silveira,
President, Goa State

Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra unit  

Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim unit

Socorro 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

Jonu Shirvoikar,
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

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

Ashok Kukalkar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit

Ganashyam Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel

Uttam Martins
C0-convener, Odxel Unit

Rohit Hadkonkar,
Co-convenor, Bambolim Unit

Sanju Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit,

Chandrakanth Rosario
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit

Vijay Sawant
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit

Ragunath Sautodkar
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit

Mahadev Andre Rosario
Co-convenor, Nauxim Unit

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