Traditional fishermen from North Goa Thursday requested the state government to ban purse seine net fishing in inland waters, which they say was depleting the fish stock and affecting their livelihood.
A group of fishermen, who belong to the areas between Dona Paula and Agassaim along the Zuari river, met Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar and drew his attention to the "rising intrusion" of canoes fitted with purse seine nets fishing in inland waters.
The group of fishermen, led by local Catholic priest Fr Valerin Vaz and Congress legislator Francis Silveira, said although these nets were supposed to be used for fishing at least five kms offshore, they were being used in inland waters.
"The purse seine nets are supposed to be used for trawling in the areas that are over five kms away from the coast. They are not supposed to intrude in the territories, where traditional fishermen have been predominantly operating," Vaz said.
During the meeting, they told the minister how they were left without fish due to "overexploitation" of resources by these canoes.
"In another two-three years, there will be no fish left in the areas around Siridao due to the greed to have a big catch in short time," Vaz said.
Silveira said there were at least 1,000 traditional fishermen operating along the stretch between Dona Paula and Agassaim.
"They were let off after being issued a warning that they would not venture again in the areas where traditional fishermen operate. For some time, they stayed away but they have again started operating in the area," the MLA said.
Silveira said the state government should work towards ensuring that there is no conflict between the traditional fishermen and those operating with purse seine nets in and around Siridao.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Palyekar said the fisheries department has been keeping a strict watch on such intrusions.
"But due to lack of manpower and machinery, a foolproof arrangement to monitor the illegalities cannot be worked out," he said.
The minister said the fisheries department would soon hold a recruitment drive to get people employed, who will be empowered to do the work of monitoring rivers to avoid such instances.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)