Fisheries Dept not serious about traditional Goan fisherman

Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo today alleged the LED fishing and bull trawling ban is still not being implemented despite the law in place. Lobo along with Ports Minister Jayesh Salgaocar and Goenchya Ramponkaracho Ekvott today met Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar on the issue of LED Light as well as Bull Trawling issue. Palyekar assured the delegation to take strict action on the issue as soon as possible.

Lobo said the Fisheries department is not serious on the issue. “The Goa Forward took the credit for the ban on LED fisheries in entire India. When the ban is in Maharashtra and Karnataka why is Goa behind?” he asked. Lobo said at the meeting the Fisheries director put the blame on Coast Guard. “He has called for a joint meeting between Fisheries department, Coast Guard, myself, Jayesh Salgaocar, Ramponkarancho Ekvott and we have also invited GF president Vijai Sardesai and Coastal SP,” he said.
Lobo said only when ramponkars make noise action is being taken for the time being. “Otherwise the department is not at all serious. This is a major issue concerning the livelihood of traditional fisherman,” he said.

Admitting that order of the central government banning use of LED lights and bull trawling during fishing has not been implemented properly in the state, Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar on Thursday assured that henceforth strict action would be initiated against illegal fishing practices. The minister held meeting with a delegation of Goenchya Raponkarancho Ekvott, a body of traditional fishermen, in the presence of Calangute MLA Michael Lobo and Housing Minister Jayesh Salgaonkar at the Secretariat and discussed various issues related to use of LED lights during fishing in the state. The traditional fishermen submitted a representation to the minister. Speaking to media after the meeting, Palyekar said that he has written to Inspector General of Police to convene a meeting of coastal police to discuss implementation of the ban order issued by the Centre.

Lobo demanded immediate steps to stop illegal fishing in the state waters. He said that the government should suspend marine police personnel if they are found not taking action against use of LED lights during fishing. “If Maharashtra and Karnataka governments are implementing the ban order, why the Goa government is failing to do so. It is the duty of the state government to protect the interest of traditional fishermen. Hence, I urge the chief minister and fisheries minister to take immediate steps to stop illegal fishing in Goa,” he said.

Minister Salgaonkar also expressed unhappiness over failure to effectively implement the Centre’s order banning use of LED lights during fishing by the state authorities. General secretary of GRE Olencio Simoes said that they will wait for another 10 days to see whether the government takes action against illegal fishing practices. “If government fails to act, the traditional fishermen will come out on streets and the state will be responsible if something untoward happens,” he warned.