Monday, 21 January 2019

Call to overhaul Goa Fisheries Department to meet twenty first century challenges

Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa Unit calls for the complete overhauling of the Department of Fisheries to successfully respond to the enormous challenges faced by fishing community in Goa in this 21st Century. Currently State Fisheries department is in terrible mess as evident from the way fishing communities has been put under pressure and harassment on the Zuari river coast.

Department of Fisheries has been terrible failure to stop daily illegal fishing – including night fishing - by dozens of trawlers in Zuari river within 5 kms from the coast. Department of Fisheries is in paralyzed state to deal with illegal purse seine fishing in Zuari river with zero enforcement. Result of all this has been complete breakdown of law and order situation in Zuari river leading to tensions and fights. Till date, no full time patrol vessel is introduced in Zuari river for the purpose of enforcement in spite of repeated requests no budgetary provisions are made for this purpose.

Department of Fisheries has also been silent in the face of draft Tourism Master Plan and Tourism Policy - 2018 that seeks to promote kind of tourism that will further push fishing communities and marine ecology towards deterioration. Promotion of Marinas and water sports envisaged in the policy are expected to spell disaster for fishing communities. Adamant manner in which Government is pushing  marina at Nauxim - - in spite of public opposition from 2010 - is objectionable particularly the bully role to push Goa State Pollution Control Board to initiate process for Public Hearing for Marina at Nauxim.

Corporate driven water sports that is being carried out from Hotel Grand Hyatt in Bambolim by Bombay based corporate Aqua sail in Zuari river is another disastrous activity from the fishing point of view. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for immediate cancellation of all the permissions granted for water sports activities in Zuari and all other rivers of Goa as speed boats like Jetski are disrupting fishing activities by cutting of fishing nets and oil spills in water. Declaration of Goa’s six rivers as National Waterways must be revoked as dredging is detrimental for fishing activities.

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