Ban on boats for deep-sea fishing violation
The Bengal government on Friday issued a 90-day ban on eight fishing boats registered in South 24-Parganas for violating the mandatory annual embargo on deep marine fishing in the Bay of Bengal.
This is for the first time the state fisheries department has taken such stern action against boat owners for flouting the two-month-long annual restriction on marine fishing. The ban, which remains in place between April 15 and June 14, is imposed to facilitate unhindered breeding of fish, particularly the hilsa.
The assistant director of fisheries (marine), South 24-Parganas, on Friday issued the ban order that stated that the vessels FB Baba Amareshwar, FB Saptarshi Narayan, FB Maa Sarada-2, FB Bargabhima-4, FB Pushpavati-2, FB Maa Mangalchandi-25, FB Parmita and the FB Sushmita would not be allowed to fish for the next three months.
Coastal police authorities of the Diamond Harbour police district have been asked to keep a watch on possible use of these boats during the punishment period. If the eight vessels are spotted fishing during the duration of punishment, their registration will be cancelled permanently, a state fisheries department official said.
Speaking to The Telegraph, assistant director of fisheries (marine) Jayanta Pradhan said: “The prohibitory annual restriction is in vogue for long. We have been relentlessly sensitising boat owners and fishermen about the need to maintain the ban for breeding and conservation of fish varieties. However, a section of boat owners has been ignoring the restrictions. To send a clear message to errant fishing boat owners, we have penalised the eight boats,” Pradhan said.
The Coast Guard had spotted the violation before June 14 and informed the Bengal government’s marine fisheries department. A showcause notice was issued and the reply failed to satisfy the authorities.
“The accused boat owners refuted the allegations but we confronted them with definite proof,” Pradhan said.
Bijan Maiti, general secretary of the West Bengal United Fishermen’s Association, welcomed the “punishment”.
“There shouldn’t be any lenient approach towards violators. Such errant acts should be dealt with sternly,” he said.