Pune: “The plight of traditional fishermen in Konkan is terrible. Even though purse seine net fishing by mechanised trawlers is not allowed within 12 nautical miles from the coast, this rule is being flouted, and officials are not taking any steps against it,” said Congress MLA Nitesh Rane, who met with lawyer and human rights activist Asim Sarode on Sunday to discuss this issue, which also forms the subject-matter of a case filed by the latter in Pune’s National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“It is also harming the aquatic culture in the area. I have met around 100 farmers from Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri and I wish to share as much information as I can with Asim Sarode, so that something can be done,” Rane said.
The Congress MLA from Kankavli said that no action was being taken about illegal fishing. “Purse seine net fishing happens even at night, by using lights. Moreover, these nets collect all types of fish and those which are unwanted are just thrown away. Traditional fishermen are made to pay hefty fines if they accidentally flout a law, but these fishermen get away. Just like the farmers, now the fishermen will also commit suicide.”
Detailing the subject matter of the petition filed by them, Sarode said, “This case does not just involve the livelihood of the farmers but also relates to the destruction of the environment and aquaculture. It is good that a politician has taken up the issue. It is very important, and the purse seine net lobby is very strong.”
The judgement is expected by the end of July.