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The rise in fish consumption has led to indiscriminate trawling of juveniles in Maharashtra by Snehal Fernandes February 17,2020   |  Source: Hindustan Times

The rise in fish consumption has led to indiscriminate trawling of juveniles of commercially important fish and a significant increase in the removal of non-target fish, says a study, adding that the practice could have long-term consequences such as depletion of targeted fish species and, in turn, marine biodiversity. Researchers, led by ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Mumbai research centre, analysed 3,561kg of subsamples from 236 hauls operating at a depth of 10 to 60mts found that for every kg of targeted catch, shrimp trawlers operating in the commercial trawl fishing grounds off New Ferry Wharf (NWF) landing centre ended up with 4kg of non-targeted by-catch comprising juveniles, non-commercial fish and benthic debris, which is either dumped into the sea or discarded at the fish landing site.

“The abundance of juveniles throughout the (fishing) seasons shows the behaviour of year-round spawning and recruitment patterns of tropical fish. Continuous removal of juveniles of commercially important species will result in reduction in their mean size that can lead to growth in overfishing,” said Sugumar Ramkumar, principal investigator, CMFRI. Ramkumar said, “The reasons for discarding by-catch in multiday trawlers are non-availability of space

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)