Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: The fisheries department has decided to initiate action against juvenile fishing in the state. The decision was taken observing that juvenile fishing will turn into a threat to Kerala's fish wealth.
At present, the fisheries department is mulling to frame rules to restrict catching and selling of juvenile fish.
The state government will issue a notification to curb juvenile fishing under section 18 of Kerala Fish Procurement Marketing and Maintenance of Quality Act 2020-21. The fisheries department is expecting to implement the rule by August.
Strict action will be taken against those who are engaged in sale of juvenile fishing and vehicles will be seized doing illegal sale.
At present, there is no restrictions on selling juvenile fish in the market. Hence, the fishermen and other workers have been selling plenty of juvenile fish in the market cheating the fisheries officials.
Meanwhile, only inspections to seize stale fish are in progress across the state. If the fisheries department initiates inspection, juvenile fishing will be checked.
It is learnt that 'Ayala' (Indian Mackerel), 'Mathi' (sardine) are the fish breeds which largely fall prey to juvenile fishing.
The Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act 1980 prescribes a minimum legal size for 58 fish species to check juvenile fishing. As per the rule, fishermen are allowed to catch mackerel of 14 cm and sardine of 10 cm. But it is observed that the size of the fish caught by the fishermen is only 5-6 cm.
Fisheries assistant director NS Sreelu informed that an awareness programme will be launched among fishermen to check juvenile fishing. The government has allotted Rs 13 lakh for this drive.
"Awareness programme on juvenile fishing will be launched across the state once the government issues notification declaring juvenile fishing illegal," said the official.