Marine Fishes Decline Fast

While Odisha is blessed with immense fishery resources by the virtue of Bay of Bengal, marine fish recourses are dwindling at a much faster rate, which is a cause of worry.

And uncontrolled fishing will spell doom for the country in general and particularly the Coastal State.  

In fact fish resources from both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are declining at an alarming rate for which the authorities of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) are worried.

MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak has pointed out that presence of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea has blessed India with huge marine fish resources, but exploitation level is high and resources are declining very fast.

Dr.Jayathilak has brough to the notice of the Government of Odisha in this regard.

According to MPEDA data, India has potential of 45.30 Lakh Tons of fishery resources.

But the way the resources are exploited and marine landing clearly indicates that it is declining at an alarming rate and some of the resources have reduced drastically beyond expectation.

He has said that though the climatic fluctuations are said to be one of the major reasons for decline in fish resources, the uncontrolled fishing pressure due to the introduction of large number of fishing vessels with high engine capacity has also contributed to the fast decline.

Looking at the risk, last year State of Kerala has come up with the introduction of Minimum Legal Size (MLS) for fish to be caught, based on studies and recommendations of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

This move was taken up to save the pristine fish resources in the State. 
In addition to that steps have been taken for amendment of Kerala Marine Fisheries Regulation Act (KMFRA), 1980, incorporating control of number, size and capacity of the fishing vessels.

Introduction of strict mesh size regulations for fishing nets used in fishing vessels is also included.

Based on the findings, implementation of square mesh cod ends in trawler fishing, one of the predominant fishing methods in the State.

Many of the trawl net vessels now resort to square mesh cod ends due to advantage of saving diesel, reducing fishing time and also allowing juvenile fishes to escape from the net.

Last year Government of Maharashtra has distributed 375 cod ends to trawlers in a district as a Pilot Project for conservation of fish.
Government of Gujarat is also following the move throughout the State for helping out conservation of fish.
Under this backdrop, the State Government has been urged to promote square mesh cod ends use in trawlers so that conservation of fishery resources and sustainable fishing can be ensured.
Department of Fisheries and ARD will have to take a call in this regard, said a senior official in MPEDA.

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