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Kerala: Concern over dwindling sardine catch June 24,2016   |  Source: The Hindu

Sardines used to form the major catch for traditional fishermen who ventured out to sea during the trawl ban in Kerala’s coastal waters. But the availability of sardines has declined to alarming levels, affecting the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen. “Climate change has threatened fish habitats. Fishing by foreign vessels beyond the trawl ban area and incursion by boats from neighbouring States have caused serious erosion in the fish wealth,” says V. Dinakaran, general secretary, Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha.

Drastic reduction in shoals

There has been a drastic reduction in shoals of sardines in the sea, according to him. Most fishermen across the coastline share the opinion. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) conducted a research study on the decline in fishery of Indian oil sardine off the Kerala coast during 2012-15. The report, released recently, attributes it to overfishing and climatic change. The decline has hit over 70,000 fishermen who directly depend on the resource for livelihood, the study says.

Sardines have been caught from coastal waters mainly using seines for about 200 years. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) of mechanised ring seine (MRS) units increased from an average of 1.2 tonnes in 2007 to 3.2 tonnes in 2012. Sardines


© 2016, The Hindu

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