Fisheries experts call for relook at seasonal fishing ban in maritime states

Experts in the fisheries sector have named for a re-glance at the seasonal fishing ban (SFB), as its effectiveness in attaining the declared objective of conserving fish means is not proved past doubt.

The declaration of SFB also requires to incorporate measures to defend the livelihood of fishermen and other dependent populations, says A Suresh and VR Madhu, principal researchers at the Central Institute of Fisheries Technological know-how, Kochi, in a report.

Their sights suppose relevance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the constraints imposed on fishing pursuits at a time when workers in the fisheries sector are demanding a relook at SFB and its effectiveness.

SFB is a important conservation-oriented regulatory measure governing the harvest of maritime fish means. One particular of the important explanations for invoking SFB is to defend the spawners at their peak spawning time and enabling at least one particular cycle of copy to allow sustainable management of fish means.

Due to the fact its start out in Kerala in 1988, SFB of about 45-70 days is now practiced by all maritime states. It has come to be an vital fish management system to counteract fish stock depletion, which is discovered to be partly thanks to in excess of-fishing and in excess of-capitalisation of maritime waters.

Having said that, the scientific neighborhood, fisher-folks and enhancement workers vary on the effect of SFB on the catch. Some argue that the positive effect of trawl ban in Kerala was viewed only for the duration of the original ten years. Also, the rewards of SFB are said to be only for the duration of the rapid submit-SFB interval, which tapers off just after that. The fishing effort and hard work is discovered to increase tremendously just after the SFB interval, bringing to a quick conclude whichever rewards SFB had introduced in.

CN Ravishankar, Director, CIFT, pointed out that SFB remains an vital management resource to deal with in excess of-capitalisation and in excess of-fishing. Having said that, it can’t be regarded a panacea or standalone measure, and requires to be supported by other regulatory measures. The maritime fisheries laws Functions (MFRAs) of states have to be strengthened to help the conservation and sustainable harvest of fisheries.

In accordance to researchers, the the latest revision of Kerala Maritime Fisheries Regulation Act is an vital phase. The revision proposes a slew of regulatory measures together with minimal legal dimensions of fish to be caught, mesh dimensions regulation, laws on motor capacity and quantity of vessels, common monitoring, manage and surveillance, licensing of fishing vessels, and gradual shift towards co-management methods of maritime ecosystems. Having said that, the co-procedure of all the maritime states is critical in properly utilizing these reforms on a nationwide scale.

SFB has many livelihood implications on work, earnings, meals and dietary security, debt and reimbursement, and expenditure on instruction and overall health. The greater part in the neighborhood are rendered jobless for the duration of this interval and equally limited-term and extended-term tactics are critical to counter this situation. The report also proposes measures to deal with the livelihood requires for the duration of SFB to cope with the earnings shortfall.

It also prompt immediate earnings help on the lines of PM-Kisan, in which an total of ₹6,000 for every yr is provided to all small and marginal farmers. Fishermen should be provided less than this initiative, it said.