Mr.Y.S.Yadava director, Bay of Bengal Programme says maritime wealth in Bay of Bengal is depleting fast and most of the fishes are becoming extinct or depleted due to unregulated fishing activity. In the past few years according to a census almost 46 species in Bay of Bengal had gone extinct and 4 more in the verge of extinction.
Pointing to the grave threat to the marine ecosystem and urging fishermen to respect the laws of sustainablity, he said: “Marine fish stock is depleting and so is the income of small-scale fishermen. Though fisheries and aquaculture have been crying for reforms, urgent action is needed by policy makers.” Citing an example of exploitation of fishery resources, Yadava said the ribbon fish that grows to nearly three metres is now found to be only one metre long (because even fledglings are being caught). He stressed the need for better monitoring and regulation of fishing vessels.
Most fishermen in the countries around the Bay of Bengal are poor and lack government aid. They are dependant solely on fishing. Yadava urged governments to create opportunities for fisherfolk to take up other occupations and provide vocational training. The seasonal ban on fishing helps sustainability and government should look at providing fishermen an alternate earning opportunity during the period, he said.