Nothing left in the sea, AGFBOA says fishing season looks bleak
Says small boats returned without even a kilo of solar prawns on first day of fishing season
VASCO: On the first day of resumption of fishing after a 60-day ban period, the All Goa Fishing boat owners association (AGFBOA) said that the fishing season ahead does not look promising.
Addressing media, AGFBOA president Jose Philip D’Souza on Monday said that several small boats reported not even a single kilo of prawns were available in the sea.
At Kharewado jetty, the former fisheries minister stated that the fisheries department should change the fishing ban period and alter it to accommodate and adjust the fishing of solar prawns for small boat owners and traditional canoe owners so that there are no business clashes between both the groups.
He said if these small boats have to survive, it is vital that the Government changes the dates of the fishing ban period or else allow all the boats to fish things like solar prawns, which, if not caught on time, disappear into the sea.
“Almost around 80 per cent of the fishing boats from Kharewado jetty have left on the first day. We cannot say anything as of now. It seems that the traditional canoe owners have finished all the prawns in the sea even as we anxiously waited for this day in the hope of good business because boats that reached Canacona have not spotted even a single prawn in the sea. Many small boats have returned empty-handed while traditional fishermen have earned by fishing solar prawns in the ban period.” said D’Souza
He said Goan boats are fully abiding by all the rules and regulations of the Government for the fishing ban, they expect a certain relaxation from the Government side as well.
“We are not against the fishing ban period lowed for breeding of fishes, but there must be some solution wherein we are allowed to start fishing 15 days in advance or at least during the solar prawns season. Solar prawns can even be excluded for the fishing ban period,” said D’Souza
“Though I do not support the use of LED lights for fishing, the Government must allow the fishermen to allow us to use new technology for fishing so that the fishing business can survive and sustain itself,” said D’Souza.
D’Souza said that the Vasco fishermen continued to be in danger of loss of lives and boats being damaged due to dilapidated fishing jetty.
“Another issue is that we have many boats that could not venture out today as they did not get to come alongside this very small jetty to load nets despite waiting for their turn for the last two days. Repairs of the jetty are being undertaken even as a fresh crack has developed, but repairs are not our solution, and an extension to accommodate around 250 odd boats must be done immediately because of delay in venturing leads to losses due to lost opportunities. We can only have 10 to 15 boats alongside this small dilapidated jetty while many boats await their turn to load nets, labour and provisions. We, along with our workers, still continue to live in Danger while operating on this dilapidated jetty,” said D’Souza.