Ban by coastal States on purse seine fishing not justified, Centre tells SC

Source: The post is based on the article “Ban by coastal States on purse seine fishing not justified, Centre tells SC” published in The Hindu on 22nd December 2022

What is the News?

The Central Government has told the Supreme Court that a ban imposed by certain coastal States on purse seine fishing is not justified.

What is Purse Seine Fishing?
Purse Seine Fishing
Source: NOAA

Purse seines fishing is used in the open ocean to target dense schools of single-species pelagic (midwater) fish like tuna and mackerel. 

A vertical net ‘curtain’ is used to surround the school of fish, the bottom of which is then drawn together to enclose the fish.

Advantages: Purse-seine fishing in open water is generally considered to be an efficient form of fishing. It has no contact with the seabed 

– It can also be used to catch fish congregating around fish aggregating devices.

Disadvantages: Purse seining is a non-selective fishing method that captures everything that it surrounds, including sea turtles and marine mammals.

Which states have prohibited Purse-seine fishing?

Several States and Union Territories like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Odisha, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Andaman and Nicobar Islands have prohibited Purse-seine fishing in their respective territorial waters of up to 12 nautical miles.

Why does the Centre want the ban on purse-seine fishing to be lifted?

The Union government has recommended the lifting of the ban on purse seine fishing based on a report submitted by an expert committee.

The committee has said that this mode of fishing has per se not resulted in any serious resource depletion so far, given the available evidence. 

It recommended purse seiners to fish in territorial waters and the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) subject to certain conditions. 

The committee has also suggested the framing of a “national management plan on purse seine fisheries”.

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