The society of Fisheries Technologist (India), Cochin and ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology(ICAR-CIFT)Cochin jointly organized an one day National Seminar on “Mitigating Juvenile Incidence in Fishing: the way forward” at ICAR-CIFT, Cochin on 25th March2017.
It is estimated that about 1.2 million tons of discards and 0.29 million tons remain unreported in the small scale and commercial trawl fisheries of India. The estimated loss due to juvenile fishing by motorized and mechanized vessels is about US$19,445 Million year. Recent estimates show that landing of low value by catch in trawl fisheries, increased from 14% in 2008 to 25% in 2011. It is reported that target catch forms only 25-30% in shrimp trawls and the rest is either discarded or bought to the shore (for sale) and these discarded catch comprises the juveniles of commercially important fish species and bottom biota. Use of non-legal mesh sizes, non-compliance to spatial and /or temporal restrictions, increased capacity both in terms of vessel number, size and power are often attributed to the high incidence of juveniles in the catches. Though a number of technical measures with respect to gear and spatial/temporal restrictions are in place for reducing the negative impacts of fishing systems, the adoption of these technologies in the field are often very limited and the implementation. Of these regulations and is often met with strict resistance from the stake holders with regard to the provisions contained in the legal instruments.
It was in the backdrop that SOFTI and ICAR-CIFT jointly organized the Seminar on “Mitigating Juvenile Incidence in Fishing: The way forward”, which provided a platform to discuss various issues related to the resource status, incidence of juveniles in fishing systems and its impact on biodiversity and legislation to control juvenile fishing gears operated in marine and inland waters using gear based technical measures.
The Seminar was formally inaugurated by Dr. S Kathikeyan, IAS, Director of Fisheries, Govt. of Kerala and the inaugural session was chaired by Dr.CN Ravishankar, Director, and ICAR-CIFT. In his inaugural address, Dr. Karthikeyan stressed that the technologies for by catch reduction should make economic sense to the fishermen. The inaugural session was followed by the technical sessions which were chaired by Dr. M R Boopendranath, Principal Scientist (Retd.), ICAR-CUFT, Cochin. A total of six papers were presented during the Seminar which covered the Status of the marine resources, Biodiversity issues in capture fisheries, by catch issues in Hilsa Fishery, Legislations to control juvenile incidence, Case study on the implementation of minimum legal mesh size in Kerala and the gear based technical measures to reduce juvenile incidence in fishing gears. Researchers, academicians, policy makers, leaders of the fishermen community and students attended the technical sessions.