Udupi,(The Hindu): Members of the Udupi and Uppunda units of Traditional Fishermen’s Organisation staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday demanding the stoppage of fishing by artificial submerged lights/ LED lights and bull-trawling by mechanised boats.
They also demanded the release of subsidised kerosene for April and May.
Addressing the protesters, Naveenchandra, leader of the organisation, said many fishermen practise the traditional method of using various types of nets, and outboard engines for their boats. Rampant use of mechanised boats with lights and bull-trawling led to destruction of fisheries resources, and adversely affect traditional fishermen.
The Union and State governments had banned unscientific fishing, such as use of lights, bull-trawling and fishing of green mussels. But this order was not being implemented properly in Udupi district. He urged the strict enforcement of the ban. The government has been providing subsidized kerosene for the boats with outboard engines. But there was no financial provision for subsidized kerosene for April and May. The subsidized kerosene should be provided through the Department of Food and Civil Supplies.
He said the government has not released subsidy for purchase of outboard engines for years, and this should be released immediately. The mechanised boats were sometimes being used for fishing near the coast, and this was creating problems for the traditional boats. The mechanised boats should be directed to do their fishing well away from the coast, Mr. Naveenchandra said.
K. Raghupati Bhat, former MLA and BJP leader, said steps to provide subsidised kerosene to fishermen should be taken up soon as the polls were nearing and the code of conduct would come into force.
Priyanka Mary Francis, Deputy Commissioner, who arrived at the spot, said already the Department of Fisheries along with the police had seized 60 generators from mechanized boats, which were being used for fishing with lights. Action was also being taken by the Fisheries Department to cancel their permits. Action would be taken on the other demands, she said.
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