Panaji: Expressing inability to crack down on illegal fishing activity in the River Zuari at the earliest, Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar, on Thursday, said that his department doesn’t have required mechanism at its disposal.
Palyekar, however, said that necessary direction has been given to coastal police and Coast Guard to tackle illegal fishing activity.
He said that the department at the most has the power to either suspend the licence issued to trawler owners or stop their fuel subsidy if they are found carrying out illegal fishing.
“We don’t have required mechanism. At present, there is only one patrolling vessel. We are also not able to get qualified man power,” he said interacting with the media in Panaji.
He said that proposals are put up before the government to procure two more vessels, however, due to some reason it has been delayed.
Earlier in the day, Palyekar held a meeting with the traditional fishermen, mainly from Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, and Curca villages, who raised their grievances and discussed about the threat that they have allegedly received from the fishermen from Vasco, whose mini per seine boats were caught by them, while being involved in illegal fishing.
Fishermen from Vasco boycotted the meeting, Palyekar said and added that attempts would be made again to bring the fishermen from both sides of the river together and resolve the matter amicably.
St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira, who was also present for the meeting, expressed his confidence in Palyekar in controlling the illegal fishing in the state. [NT]