Following complaints that trawl boats are poaching on the fishes in the territorial waters using banned fishing gear, the Fisheries Department has beefed up its patrolling.
Boats going out to the sea and those coming in will be examined to ensure that they do not use fishing gears banned for use inshore, the department said.
In the recent weeks, there have been complaints from traditional fishermen that the trawl boats (often twin boats) were poaching on pelagic fishes in the 22-km territorial waters reserved for traditional fishermen. The ‘pelagic trawling’, apart from draining the traditional fishermen’s resources, are killing off young fishes as the trawl and other gear they use are harmful to the pelagic stock.
Pelagic fish — such as oil sardines, mackerels, blue fin tuna and herrings — live close to the surface of the sea unlike the demersal fish which live close to the seabed.