Fishermen on Thursday staged a protest at the Vizag fishing harbour, seeking a total ban on use of purse seine ring nets, irrespective of the distance off the shore. Mechanised and fishing boats using a ring net within 8 km from the shore were also banned to protect the interest of the traditional fishermen. However, the traditional fishermen complained that the ring net was used by the trawlers leaving them no catch for small-level local fishermen. They demanded complete ban on use of the ring net irrespective of the distance from the shore.
They also resented a comment made by Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao on use of the ring net. “Of the 14 fishing villages here, only one or two use ring nets for fishing. All use the traditional net,” said a fisherman
representing the group. A purse seine is a large wall of netting deployed around an entire area or school of fish. Sea turtles can be captured by a purse seine as it is set and then become entangled in the net mesh as it is hauled in.
Entangled turtles may sustain injuries to their flippers and shells due to the force of the net as it is hauled. Joint director of fisheries D K Phani Prakash had informed a survey that 83 mechanised boats were using purse seine ring nets in the district. Use of ring nets and fishing in close range has been creating tension among the fishermen leading to breakdown of law and order. Issuing guidelines, the joint director said boats using less than half inch nets would not be allowed for fishing as per AP Marine Fisheries Regulation Act of 1995, boats should not venture into the sea without registration and license and announced a ban on use of mechanised boats in 8 km area as per the Act.
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