Mangaluru: Fish shortage crisis impacts Karnataka's fisheries sector

Daijiworld Media Network- Mangaluru (VP)

Mangaluru, Feb 29: Fishing is the largest economic activity in the state. However, it is currently suffering due to unscientific fishing practices and climate change. There is a shortage of fish during the fishing season, leading to unannounced fishing holidays. Additionally, the transaction of Rs 7,500 crore is subject to fluctuations.

The fisheries industry has been growing significantly in the Karavali region for a long time. It has also helped many families to develop and improve their lives. Apart from providing financial strength to lacs of families, it has contributed to the gross domestic product of the country. However, the sector is currently facing significant challenges. Fishing activities are not proceeding as planned, and the government is not providing sufficient encouragement. Consequently, the industry itself has reached a state of stagnation. The livelihoods of 3.31 lac families in the state who depend on fishing are in jeopardy.

The state boasts a coastline stretching 320 km, making it the longest in the region, covering an area of 27,000 sq km. It also encompasses 8,000 hectares of alluvial land. With 162 coastal villages, the state supports 127 primary fishermen's cooperatives, 2 fish marketing federations, and the Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation operating across 3 districts. The annual business turnover exceeds Rs 7,647 crore. However, this transaction has now been severely impacted.

In addition to the fishing profession, there are dozens of subsidiary industries. When fishing thrives, all sectors experience economic vitality. However, the current situation is the opposite. The storm has primarily affected the livelihoods of those in ancillary industries such as ice plants, lorry drivers, small-scale traders, fish cleaners, and fish processors.

In Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Uttara Kannada districts, an unprecedented drought has hit this year, unlike anything seen in the past four years. Boats are not catching fish as anticipated, with many remaining anchored. Unplanned fishing holidays are being declared during the fishing season itself to mitigate the burden of potential losses.

In the past, deep-sea fishing typically had a break of at least four months. Even during the rainy season, when fish breed, fishing activity did not occur. However, this tradition has now been disrupted. The vacation period has been reduced to just two months. Light fishing, particularly bull trawling, has had a significant impact. Experts suggest that this practice has affected the reproductive development of fish, leading to scarcity. Additionally, adverse weather conditions have exacerbated the situation.
If the situation does not improve, our marine resources could be depleted within the next 24 years. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has issued a warning that failure to protect the marine ecosystem could lead to the loss of seafood. Overfishing has already caused the extinction of rare fish species, including sharks. The agency has advised governments and regional fisheries bodies to enhance their efforts to prevent overfishing.

Speaking regarding this, Rajaratna, a fisherman, expressed concern and said, "The problem of less fishes is a very common thing in the summer, but this time what we saw we could have never seen and we have records which tells us that such a situation came back around 24 years ago. Because of scorching heat from the sun the fish in the water go down and because of which they become less active and even breed less. For this the government should take actions in order to bring any changes to this. Around 2 months all the fishermen are told not to fish because of this reason and of course this will impact their life where they will be helpless without a job but this is the situation so far. In order to save fishes, strict actions should be taken.”

Expressing concern over the issue, Dr H N Anjaneyappa, dean of Fisheries College, Mangaluru, stated, "I have recently come across an article discussing natural disasters in fish, but I do not fully agree with that perspective. In my view, this is a man-made disaster. To witness an increase in fish numbers, we must understand the migration patterns of fish. Disruption to these patterns automatically affects their population. The rampant hunting of breeding fish without understanding the problem prevents small fish from reaching the ocean. It is crucial to refrain from capturing small fish and allow them to breed and grow. We must utilize our resources carefully and ensure proper care. Pollution, primarily caused by humans, enters water bodies, eventually reaching the ocean. Trash dumped into the ocean necessitates public awareness campaigns.

“Efforts have been made to improve fish populations, but irregular monsoons remain a significant challenge. Fishing has been banned since June to address this issue, and there is a need to standardize fishing practices. Fishermen resort to using small nets due to the high cost of small fish. Therefore, raising awareness among them about the benefits of allowing fish to reach maturity is essential. While natural mortality is inevitable, we can control fishing mortality rates. Increasing temperatures have disrupted fish immigration and migration patterns, a consequence of human actions. The government must ensure strict adherence to regulations and prioritize public awareness campaigns,” he said.





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Comment on this article

  • Anand, Udupi

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    The finest catch is shipped or exported to large cities and big restaurants through out the year leaving the local people with undersized, normal fish. Even though the fishery board forbids fishing during the monsoon, these fishermen continue to fish and sell the little fish of various types to fish mills. And now they are complaining about the lack of fish. Here, the only people who suffer are the daily workers and the local fish dealers; fishing boat owners, on the other hand, always celebrate.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chandu, Karla

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    When you exploit and destroy the nature mercilessly, this is what happens. Nature pays back dearly in its own phase, terms and time. We humans still don't learn but keep destroying more. There was time when plenty of fish available in every village ponds, lakes and rivulets but now you only find plastic bags, containers, empty liquor and water bottles. So whom to blame....even seas are not spared....????

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    Oh how I miss our fresh fish from mangalore.Now there is shortage for fresh fish everywhere.Because they fish everything what in netz comes.Here there is strict rule that they should throw back small fish into see so tha t has time to increase population .and only a certain amount fishing is allowed.They do control now and then and punish accordingly if not fulfilled. or more fishing ect.In Manglore ,even black fishing is going on ?People from other states come in darkness and carryaway ?cONTROL and punishment too should be applied if found faulty.But money sometimes let them close the mouth?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • nitin shetty, bangalore, udupi

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    when i return from gulf to mangalore i feel that in gulf fish is cheap compare to mangalore udupi fish.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Kusuma Kumari Gunji MBBS DGO DNB (Obst and Gynae), Nellore/Kodyadka

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    FIsh is a major food item of coastal Karnataka I feel the fish is coming down due to overfishing activities in the ocean Lets use our resources very intelligently, I remember eating fish regularly when I was studying at Manipal. FIsh preparations of coastal Karnataka is wonderful and tasty, I loved all fish items of coastal nation

    DisAgree [3] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • TK, dubai

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    All fish canning and fish meal factories dotting the coastline are responsible for the shortage of fish. The fish meal owners will buy any fish big. small or baby fish as their raw material. When there us market for any kind of fish why will the fish trawlers bother. They will maximise their catch of fish without thinking of the consequences that sucking out baby fish also, there is profit for them...hence all public has to suffer for lack of fish in tge sea

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ananda Moorthi., Thokkottu, 575017.

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    Fishing Community Konkan Kharvi are Struggling for their daily Bread.No Safety kit Provided them when they go for Deep Fishing in Early Hours.Government to Support them.No Facilities were reaches to the Poor, Less educated Kharvi Community.No C.M.has met Kharvi people in their Janaspandana meet.Kharvi are Shy to come front so they are Losing Govt Facilities.Media should focus on these Community.its a difficult task to find out the Poor in any Community.The Rich will Grab the Chances.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    In every field it's shortage, except no shortage in coming LS Election , but only over candidates. Great .but that's also a problem to give tickets.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Raheja Waterfront

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    ನಾವು ಒಣ ಮೀನುಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದ್ದೇವೆ ...

    DisAgree [6] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Dk

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    .....ಏನು ಜೊಸ್ಸಿ ಸರ್...👍? ಏನು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೀರೀ ನೀವು? 😂😂😂😂😂😁😁

    DisAgree [1] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Raheja Waterfront

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    What is wrong in eating Dried Fish ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rizwan, Dubai/Mangalore

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    Jossey sir, it is natural at your age... Hope you understand what I and Cynthia mean 😄😄🤣🤣

    DisAgree [2] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Dk

    Thu, Feb 29 2024 made my day today....!!! I laughed to my heart's content....!!! I appreciate the way you put up your comment...!!! "In between the lines" right ? Jossey sir used to say always advice me, in reference to his one liner comment, i must try to understand the meaning of his comment by reading in between the lines instead of writing the big comment..!! Your comment says it all...😁😁😁😁 So this "in between" made me laugh ....🤣🤣🤣.. thanks ...🙊🙊🙊🙊🙊🙊🙉🙉🙉🙉

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Dk

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    Tarle bangde nisthe amchya ruchiche.....if fish shortage means god alone knows how to eat food ? Without a piece of fish like swallowing bitter guord dish ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Saravanabhavan, Murukaveri

    Thu, Feb 29 2024

    What about promoting Farm growing Fish and Prawns?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

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