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Govt. urged to consult federation on fisheries policy

By Our Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE, DEC. 10. The Federation of Traditional Fishermen's Organisations of Coastal Karnataka has urged the Government to consult it in discussions on the fisheries policy as it represents fishing communities engaged in their traditional vocation for more than 200 years.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, the honorary president of the Federation, Upendra Hosabettu, said the fishing methods of these communities — Mogaveeras, Kharvis and Harikanthras — were part of traditional knowledge perfected over the years. He said they were also bound by rules framed by community organisations.

Mr. Hosabettu said there had been a perceptible change in fishing methods since the 1970s when governments urged fishermen to go in for mechanisation of boats and methods of fishing.

This affected traditional fishing, and the federation took up the issue, he added.

He claimed that the federation was the only organisation representing traditional fishing communities, and said the Government should consult it while framing the fisheries policy.

Fishing ban

He urged the Government to impose a fishing ban during the monsoon from June 1 to August 31 and demanded that it cover mechanised boats, "destructive" fishing gear such as purse-sein, trawl and deep-sea trawl boats.

Traditional boats fitted with engines of 25 hp or less should be allowed to go fishing during the period, as was the practice, he said.

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