PANJIM Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala in his written reply told Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro that there was “no substantial decrease in fish catch” for the last five years 2016-17 to 2020-21.
However, the figures that were released point to a steady decline in fish landing and production and even a very slight increase in 20021-22 over the past year. But the takeaway is clear.
There is fewer and fewer fish being caught in the Goan waters. From 2017 to 2022 there has been a shortfall of 8,000 tonnes.
In an unstarred question, Rajya Sabha member Luizinho Faleiro questioned if the Government was aware that the traditional fishermen in Goa are facing difficult times due to depleting fish stocks; whether massive illegal trawling with LED lights is taking away the fish even during the spawning period and whether the coastal police does not have even a single boat in working condition to chase the trawlers and implement the ban on illegal fishing?
When asked about LED fishing taking away the fish even during the spawning period, Minister Rupala replied that Union Government has advised the coastal states to prohibit destructive fishing methods. He said the use of LED lights for fishing is also banned but did not say if illegal fishing was happening.