[Answered] Examine the Supreme Court’s judgment allowing fishermen of Tamil Nādu to use purse seine fishing gears for fishing.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some threats due to AMR. Also write some measures to tackle this.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The Supreme Court of India has given permission to fishermen using Purse Seine Fishing (PSF) gear to fish beyond territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles) of Tamil Nadu, with certain restrictions. This fishing technique has been widely deployed on India’s western coasts.


  • PSF is a non-selective fishing technology which captures all kinds of fish including protected species like turtles.
  • Purse seiners tend to overfish, unlike traditional fishermen using traditional fish gear, thus endangering the livelihood of the traditional fisher.
  • The Court’s order seems to be more concerned about regulating fishing with administrative and transparency measures than about the conservation measures and obligations.
  • In some States, this technique is linked to concerns about the decreasing stock of small, pelagic shoaling fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies on the western coasts.
  • Merely restricting the purse seiner to fish on two days is not sufficient without regulating the fishing methods used.
  • The most recent court ruling appears to disregard the conservation measures and duties that a coastal state is required to take in its EEZ by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • International legal efforts are gradually moving in the direction of abandoning the use of large-scale pelagic nets. The huge size of the purse seine nets (2,000 metres in length and 200 m in depth) allows maximum catch for the purse seiners, in turn leaving behind insufficient catch for traditional fishermen.

Despite the best conservation measures and regulation of fishing methods adopted by the authorities, it will be a challenge in dealing with the limitless character of the seas which renders a common resource such as fish available for exploitation by all.

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