Apr 21, 2016: The fishing industry was already at threat owing to bull trawls, purse seine boat fishing and deep sea trawlers and now with the introduction of Light Emitting Diode (LED) light fishing fishermen fear that this might lead to fish famine.
It is predicted that around 20,000 fishermen families rely upon conventional fishing or small-scale fishing in Uttara Kannada. Bull trawl fishing was introduced in Uttara Kannada district two years ago and it had caused violent clashes between coastal districts and the fishermen. Ultimately, the UK district administration had went on to ban bull trawls as a whole.
LED-aided fishing may cause fish famine
With the emergence of LED light fishing technique the fishermen worry that it will soon lead to fish famine. This method requires a small boat to be mounted with 8 LED bulbs of 1000 mega hertz each. At night, a generator with 20,000 mega hertz is used for illuminating the LEDs. Then, the fish are attracted towards the light and come near to the boat.
Simultaneously, another boat extends a balloon-shape net about the primary boat hence catching all the fish that hover around the boast. Though illegal in Uttara Kannada, at least 80 boats use the LED fishing technique using such boats.
No heed to complaints
The neighboring state, Goa has banned LED light fishing technique where Custom and Coast Guard officers confiscate such boats and also inflict serious penalty. However, in Uttara Kannada, the officials paid no heed to such complaints raised by the fishermen.
Umakant Harikantra, a fishermen leader said that the officials have not taken any action against LED boat owners. The sea will have no fish If LED light fishing technique continues for another few years, he added.
M L Dodmani, deputy director of fisheries department said that it’s been around a month that this fishing technique has started in the district. On receiving a complaint, he went to Bhatkal where he found such fishing boats. However, those fishermen using the technique disputed with him saying that such fishing activity is legal in Dakshina Kannada, he added