Stating that government has failed to enforce ban on LED fishing and bull trawling, Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, demanded with the government to form a House Committee to study as to why LED fishing and bull trawling are still being carried out despite the ban. “It is not a charge, it is reality that LED fishing and bull trawling are on. And, if this continues, then forget about fish disappearing from our plates, we may not even find fish in the sea. There is a need to form a House Committee to find that why we have failed, and need to carry out a study that why it is continued despite ban,” said Lobo on the floor of the House while speaking during the discussion on demands for fisheries.
He also questioned the government over the magisterial report of lathi-charge on fishermen which took place on May 12, 2016, when the traditional fishermen were protesting against the LED fishing and bull trawling. He claimed that a large quantity of prawns and other fish are exported to other states whereas Goans struggle to get the same. He urged the Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar to understand the problems of fishermen and address their demands. “The minister should understand the pain of the fishermen; we ought to protect their rights. The department should immediately take up the works for providing them with basic facilities,” he said.
Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao and St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira supported the demand made by Lobo to form a House Committee to resolve the LED fishing and bull trawling issue. Silveira said that the ban should also be extended to the coasts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala. He said that villages such as Cacra, Shirdona, Bambolim, Nauxim and Goa Velha should be declared as fishing villages, and added that all the required help to traditional fishermen should be extended by the department. Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, and Bicholim MLA Rajesh Patnekar urged the government to either give them mobile vans or department’s stalls in order provide subsidised fish in their respective constituencies.