Reported by Vishwanath Kumar
Paradip, Apr 22:
A move by Fishery Survey of India (FSI) to berth a motorized fishing vessel ‘Matsya Kanya’ at Paradip port to create awareness on marine fisheries resources has hit a roadblock, thanks to the reluctance of the port authorities to grant permission.
Although officials deny it, sources say the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) authorities have refused berthing permission to the improvised vessel following the enforcement of poll model code of conduct that .
According to sources, the FSI had sought permission for the berthing of the vessel at the port which would have been thrown open to the marine fishermen and wider public to spread awareness on fishery resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and adjoining seas for promoting sustainable management of marine fishery resources.
” The idea was to give exposure to sea-going fishermen community and students on unexplored facts on marine fisheries sector. As the depletion of sea fish catch has become a cause of concern, increase in awareness level is the need of the hour,” said Deputy Director (Marine Fisheries) Pratapranajn Rout.
The FSI vessel ‘Matsya Shikari’ could not be berthed as PPT refused the facility. The state-of-the-art vessel was equipped with radar and satellite imaging system to keep track of sea fish resources. Had the vessel got the green signal for berthing, the traditional marine fishermen community would have reaped benefit, he said.
On the other hand, the deputy conservator, PPT, Gouri Prasad Biswal said, “PPT did not refuse them the permission to berth the vessel and the model code of conduct was also not a consideration. We had only suggested the FSI to berth the vessel at the Paradip fishery harbour because it is was better suited for the purpose and located at a vantage point for public visits. Besides there are fishing villages in the vicinity of the harbour. Hundreds of traditional sea-going fishermen and fish workers congregate everyday at the busy harbour, Biswal said.
“This is for the first time that FSI was planning to organize such an awareness campaign. The sea-going fishermen were eagerly waiting for the programme. They feel let down as port refused them of berthing facility”, said Paradip marine fisheries officer, Ranjit Keshari Dash.