80 banned fishing nets seized in TN

Rameswaram: The Tamilnadu Fisheries Department with the help of the Indian Coast Guard today seized around 80 banned fishing nets from fishermen here, officials said.

The Sri Lankan Navy has been complaining about Indian fishermen allegedly using banned fishing nets, destroying their fish species. It had charged the Indian fishermen with poaching even protected fish species.

The state Deputy Director of Fisheries E Kathavarayan said banned fishing nets not only caused severe damage to the fish population in the seas, but also resulted in pollution and contamination in fish food.

Despite repeated warnings, the fishermen were allegedly using the ‘irattai madi’ (double fold) nets, killing fish species in the Gulf of Mannar.

Kathavarayan also said the Fisheries Department had been acting time and again and had slapped a fine of Rs 26 lakh in the last few months on fishermen who had used banned nets.

However, they were repeatedly indulging in violating the Wildlife Act and using banned nets, he added. The fisheries official said the department did not have sufficient infrastructure to tackle the issue of fishermen violating norms and soon one boat would be procured to monitor the fishermen.

He warned that in future the boats would also be seized along with the fishing nets if the fishermen continued to violate the norms.