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The Invasion of South Goa Coastal Waters by Karnataka Trawlers Raises Fury Amongst Local Fishermen

Fishing Trawlers in South Goa Coast
Fishing Trawlers (Representational Image)

With Goa witnessing heavy rains over the last week, several of the traditional fishermen had avoided venturing out into deep seas for fishing. However, a recent video that surfaced showed trawlers from coastal Malpe in Karnataka carrying out fishing activities close to the coastal areas of South Goa. This has caused much anger among the local fisherman stretching from Mobor to Colva. 

The ramponkars from coastal South Goa villages of Mobor, Benaulim, and Colva had raised alarms after it was noticed that several trawlers from neighbouring Malpe were carrying out fishing activities within close proximity of Goa’s shores, mostly off the coast of Benaulim and Colva. 

According to the local fishermen, the trawlers noticed were involved in bull trawling – a type of fishing that involves a net tied across two big boats and is dragged to catch the fish.  

The local ramponkars had urged authorities to look into this matter, and they claim, that because of the weather several of them couldn’t venture out. But now, when they head out, the catch is very less due to such activities of other boats from neighbouring Karnataka. Approximately 50 such boats from Malpe were noticed along the coastal area. 

Accordingly, it is learnt that such fishing by such methods of bull trawling and speed boast is banned and if such illegal activities go unchecked, the marine ecosystem will be destroyed, leading to several other problems, one being the livelihoods of local ramponkars from the area. 

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“Our boats are closed, and when we come out in the morning these other boats can be seen. If these boats come and take what little we would catch, then what are we to do. The (fisheries) department needs to do something. If the benefit is not for us Ramponkar, then what are we to do,” a local fisherman said in a social media video.

The fisheries department now has finally decided to step up their patrolling and monitoring mechanism of the coastal waters. However, due to rough weather, the patrolling with the Captain of Ports and the coastal police did not succeed. 

Reportedly, the department will be using local canoes to patrol the seas during the rough weather. 

The local fishermen have pointed out that the fish catch this season has already reduced drastically due to various reasons, and as such, these trawlers from Malpe will only cause further damage to their future catch.  

“This has been noticed since this week and we had alerted authorities. Many were concerned as for several of our locals, their livelihood depends on these activities,” said a local resident from the coastal stretch of South Goa. 

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