2.8 West Bengal

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E and 27°10'N, spreading into 19 districts in an area .... Sankarpur, Diamond Harbour, Kakdwip, Sagar and .... 1985-86 periods at Sagardwip (Sagar Island),.

Prawn fisheries - West Bengal

sector from 1980 (CMFRI, 1981) by the introduction of trawlers, dol netters and liners. Number of gill netters also increased considerably. Motorization of traditional crafts such as dug-out canoes, plankbuilt boats, ring seiners, fibre glass boats and others has taken place after 1980 (Table 1). The total number of fishing gear is 3,78,937, out of which gill nets (pieces) form 86.5%, fixed bag nets 12.3%, hooks and lines 0.8% and trawl nets and others 0.4%. Increase in the number of gill nets, fixed bag nets and hooks and lines was considerably high while there was reduction in the number of shore seines, traps, scoop nets and others (Table 1). The reduction

2.8 West Bengal

The state of West Bengal lies between longitudes 85°50' N and 89°50'E and latitudes 21°38' E and 27°10'N, spreading into 19 districts in an area of 88,752 sq km. The State has a coastline of 150 km along its three coastal districts namely South Purba Midnapur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas. The continental shelf upto 200 m depth covers an area of 20,000 sq km (3.6% of the total area of the Indian continental shelf). The continental shelf of West Bengal is wide (about 150 km) and shallow. The bottom is muddy and its configuration is affected by the large river systems and tidal currents. As fish is an important part of diet of the population by Table 1. Marine fisheries census of West Bengal (2005) tradition, demand for fish is very Sl. Item 1980 2005 Increase / census census decrease (%) high in this state. From marine No. Population structure fisheries point of view its role is 303 346 114 less significant compared to other 1 No. of fishing villages 2 No. of landing centers 47 44 -6 states along the east coast due to 3 No. of fishermen households 14169 53816 280 its limited coastline and continental 4 Fishermen population 83561 269565 223 shelf area. However, this is 5 No. of fishermen engaged in compensated by heavy production actual fishing 19756 70750 258 Mechanized fishing crafts of freshwater fish from the network 6 Trawlers 0 610 of rivers and canals.

Craft and gear The craft and gear, which play a vital role in the development of marine fisheries are evaluated periodically by conducting Marine Fisheries Census at every fishing village. As per the Marine Fisheries Census-2005 (Anon., 2005a), West Bengal is having 346 marine fishing villages, 44 landing centers with total fishermen population of 2,69,565 inhabiting in 53,816 households. The active fishermen population stands at 70,750, forming 26.2 % of total fishermen population. Total number of mechanized crafts is 6,829 and gill netters dominated (63.8%) followed by dol netters (24.8%), trawlers (8.9%) and others (2.5%). It is evident that development has taken place in the mechanized fishing

7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Dol netters Liners Gill netters Others Motorized fishing crafts Dug-out canoes Plank-built boats Ring seiners Fibre Glass boats Others Non-motorized fishing crafts Plank-built boats Dug-out canoes Catamarans Others Fishing gears Trawl nets Purse seines Drift/gill nets Boat seines Fixed bag nets Hooks and lines Long lines Shore seines Traps Scoop nets Others

0 0 247 63

1692 66 4355 106

0 0 0 0 0

9 1459 46 5 49

3972 89 0 0

9913 25 19 2

0 0 2467 0 6200 869 0 436 61 345 2433

1228 19 327769 49 46528 2896 80 69 37 0 62

1663 68

150 -72

13186 650 233 -84 -39 -100 -97

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Handbook of Marine Prawns of India

in shore seines may be due to shifting of shore seines to boat seines. It is evident from Table 1 that development has taken place in the marine fishing sector in terms of increase in the number of crafts and gears, and the increase in fishermen population and active fishermen population which were by 223 and 258% respectively. Growth in active fishermen population led to increase in fishing craft and gear to meet the increasing demand for fish in the state. The new infrastructural facilities such as six new fishing harbours with cold storage facilities, packaging centers and modern fish markets at Frazerganj, Sankarpur, Diamond Harbour, Kakdwip, Sagar and Patharpratima would enhance the production of prawns in the state.

magnitude. There is enormous literature on the estuarine prawn fishery of West Bengal (Kunju, 1955; Rajyalakshmi, 1961, 1966; Rao, 1969; Gopalakrishnan, 1973; Gopalakrishnan and Rao, 1968; Gopalakrishnan et al., 1975; Thakur, 1975; Chakraborti et al., 1977; Basu and Pakrasi, 1979; Bhaumik et al., 1992; Bhowmik, 1993 and Sarkar and Bhattacharya, 2003). The estuarine fishery is described in a separate chapter in this publication itself. Marine prawn fishery Very little is known about the marine prawn fishery. The information is limited to the seasonal bag net fishery (Saigal et al., 1987) and the prawn fishery of the large trawlers operating off the west Bengal coast (Rao, 1987, 1988b, 1998, 2003). Winter bag net fishery

Marine fish landings

A unique feature of the West Bengal The total marine fish landings, penaeid fishery is the migratory winter bag net (beenjals) prawn landings and non-penaeid prawn landings in fishery along the shallow areas of the coast. Large West Bengal during 1984-2004 are shown in Table number of bag net fishing parties migrates from 2. The annual fish landings of West Bengal ranged different parts of the estuary during winter to from 12,017 t (1988) to 1,93,898 t (2004), with an suitable spots near the sea face of the estuary. The average of 77,122 t. The contribution of West Bengal fishing parties establish their camps and remain to marine fish landings of India ranged from 0.67% in 1988 to Table 2. Prawn landings and total fish landings of West Bengal during 1985-2004 7.64% in 2004 with the average at 2.53%. Though the annual Year Total fish Penaeid Penaeids in Non-penaeid Non penaeids in landings prawn total landings prawn total landings landings have shown wide (t) (t) (%) (t) (%) fluctuations during the overall 1985 23541 246 1.0 2860 12.1 period, increasing trends were 1986 16114 412 2.6 1103 6.8 observed during two spells, one 1987 22741 299 1.3 681 3.0 during 1989-1993 and the other 1988 12017 220 1.8 1718 14.3 529 1.4 1183 3.2 during 2000-2004. The average 1989 36778 2556 5.1 1665 3.3 annual marine fish landings in 1990 49820 1223 1.8 1382 2.1 West Bengal during the period 1991 67269 1992 78786 2677 3.4 1842 2.3 1975-84 were estimated at 19,850 1993 91969 2754 3.0 2559 2.8 t (Philipose et al., 1986) and the 1994 61355 1247 2.0 1693 2.8 3352 4.6 3296 4.5 marine landings have increased 1995 73161 3799 5.0 3833 5.1 by 187% from 1975-1984 to 1985- 1996 75310 1997 74957 3030 4.0 1890 2.5 2004.

Estuarine prawn fishery The state of West Bengal has a vast net work of estuarine creeks supporting a prawn fishery of considerable

168

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Mean

88190 55556 71283 97510 158534 193643 193898 77122

3123 2704 4272 8780 9434 12705 7480 3542

3.5 4.9 6.0 9.0 6.0 6.6 3.9 4.6

8631 5241 8524 12458 17664 20792 14658 5684

9.8 9.4 12.0 12.8 11.1 10.7 7.6 7.4

Prawn fisheries - West Bengal

engaged in bag net fishing operations from the end of October to early February. Saigal et al. (1987) described the winter bag net fishery of 1984-85 and 1985-86 periods at Sagardwip (Sagar Island), Frazerganj, Bokkhali, Kalisthan and Upper and Lower Zamboodwip complexes. The fishing camps so established are commonly called Khunties. The information on fishermen population migrated to various centers, the number of boats and nets are given in Table 3. During 1984-85, 169 fishing camps were established in five centers while 173 camps were established during 1985-86 in six centers (Table 3). Lower Jamboodwip was the biggest centre in 198485 with 1,366 fishermen participating in fishing while Sagardwip operated more number of boats. During 1984-85, 347 non-mechanized boats and 72 mechanized boats were operated and they increased to 377 and 78 respectively in 1985-86. The number of fishermen participated in the fishery increased from 3,729 in 1984-85 to 3,957 in 1985-86. Generally the fishery starts at the end of October and ends in early February with maximum fish landings in December. By early February the sea becomes very rough due to which the operation of the bag nets is not possible and the fishermen return to their respective fishing villages in the Sundarbans.

The total landings, prawn landings and percentage of prawn landings in total landings are given in Table 4. Lower Jamboodwip with 10,077.4 t (1984-85) and 5,413.7 t (1985-86) of total landings was the major landing centre in both the years. However, prawn landings were better in Lower Jamboodwip in 1984-85 and Upper Jamboodwip in 1985-86. Prawn landings varied from 94.3 t at Frazerganj to 727.5 t in Lower Jamboodwip in 198485 with the proportion of prawns varying from 5.7% at Bokkhali to 23.6% at Sagardwip. The total prawn landings of the bag net fishery declined from 1,535 t in 1984-85 to 1,216.5 t in 1985-86. The prawn landings varied from 46.8 t at Frazerganj to 370.6 t at Upper Jamboodwip in 1985-86 with the proportion of prawns in the total catch varying from 3.0% at Bokkhali to 30.5% at Sagardwip. It appears that the fishermen at Sagardwip conduct target fishing for prawns while at the other centers the fishing is nonselective. The catches landed during this season are sun-dried except the commercially important species of fish and prawns which are sold in the local markets. The dried fish and prawns staked in the camps are periodically transported by carrier boats into the interior markets.

Table 3. Centre-wise fishing camps, bag nets , boats and men engaged in the bag net fishery of West Bengal Centre

Fishing camps 1984-85 1985-86

Bag nets 1984-85 1985-86

1984-85

Boats 1985-86

Fishermen 1984-85 1985-86

Frazerganj

18

22

68

87

37(8)

46(10)

246

394

Bokkhali

19

13

110

76

59(19)

35(10)

599

367

21

19

137

131

62(17)

61(16)

741

898

Jamboodwip

28

18

189

142

86(26)

63(20)

1366

889

Sagardwip

83

82

243

267

103(2)

112(3)

777

812

Kalisthan

0

19

0

121

0

60(19)

0

597

169

173

747

824

347(72)

377(78)

3729

3957

Upper Jamboodwip Lower

Total

Source: Saigal et al., 1987. Figures in brackets indicate the number of mechanized boats.

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Handbook of Marine Prawns of India

Deep-sea prawn fishery The deep-sea prawn resources off the West Bengal coast were the major target of the large trawlers and mini trawlers operating from Visakhapatnam. The prawn fishery by these large and mini trawlers is described in detail in a separate chapter in this publication itself.

Penaeid prawn fishery The annual penaeid prawn landings ranged from 220 t in 1988 to 12,705 t in 2003 with an average of 3,542 t (Table 2). The contribution of penaeid prawns to total fish landings ranged from 1.0% in 1985 to 9.0% in 2001 with an average of 4.6%. During the 1975-1984 period the annual penaeid prawn landings ranged from 108 t in 1977 to 2,304 t in 1984 with an average of 875 t. The contribution of penaeid prawns to total fish landings ranged from 1.1% in 1982 to 12.2% in 1977 with an average of 4.5% (Philipose et al., 1986). Though the catch has increased by 304.8%, its contribution to total fish landings increased only by 2.2%.

Table 4. Total catch, prawn catch and percentage of prawn catch in total landings of bag nets during 1984-85 and 1985-86 Centre Total catch Prawn catch Percentage (t) (t) of prawns 1984-85 Frazerganj 748.6 94.3 12.6 Bokkhali 4050.3 229.2 5.7 Upper Jamboodwip 4305.4 376.1 8.7 Lower Jamboodwip 10077.4 727.5 7.2 Sagardwip 457.6 107.9 23.6 Kalisthan 0 0 0 Total 19639.3 1535 7.8 1985-86 Frazerganj 988.9 46.8 4.7 Bokkhali 1963.4 58.7 3.0 Upper Jamboodwip 4772.4 370.6 7.8 Lower Jamboodwip 5413.7 263.4 4.9 Sagardwip 1019.5 311.3 30.5 Kalisthan 3423.5 165.7 4.8 Total 17581.4 1216.5 6.9

The average annual penaeid prawn catch of West Bengal for every five year spell Table 5. Gear-wise penaeid prawn landings (t) of West Bengal Years Trawl Mechanized Other Outboard NonTotal estimated for the period nets bag nets mechanized bag nets mechanized 1976-2005 indicated an gears gears increasing trend for the 1985 0 202 2 0 42 246 whole period. The 1986 4 2 14 0 392 412 1987 13 221 10 0 55 299 average annual 1988 13 100 0 0 107 220 penaeid prawn catch 1989 51 312 8 0 158 529 was 780 t for 19761990 4 1968 1 0 583 2556 1980; 700 t for 19811991 108 703 1 0 411 1223 1992 202 1868 45 0 562 2677 1985; 800 t for 19861993 246 1644 4 0 860 2754 1990; 2,250 t for 19911994 325 483 0 0 439 1247 1995; 3,390 t for 19961995 1654 975 0 0 723 3352 2000 and 9,140 t for 1996 3001 418 0 0 380 3799 1997 2267 575 4 0 184 3030 2001-2005. Though 1998 1657 1287 0 0 179 3123 marginal decline from 1999 2035 239 0 331 99 2704 1976-1980 to 1981-1985 2000 3105 52 0 933 182 4272 and sharp increase 2001 4777 2202 0 1702 99 8780 2002 6281 1317 0 1749 87 9434 from 1986-2000 to 20012003 8477 1395 0 2615 218 12705 2005 was there, an overall 2004 4113 1994 0 1321 52 7480 increasing trend was 2005 3835 1084 0 2292 70 7281 observed for the whole Mean 2008 907 4 521 280 3720 period (www.cmfri.org.in). Percentage 54.0 24.4 0.1 14.0 7.5 100

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Prawn fisheries - West Bengal Table 6. Species composition of penaeid prawns (t) in West Bengal during 1990-2002 Species 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002Mean

%

M. dobsoni

235

113

597

991

299

758

524

570

575

452

616 1269 1363 643 17.1

M. monoceros

212

102

142

99

64

101

133

155

172

206

367

755

810 255

6.8

M. affinis

432

207

353

110

151

489

589

339

428

11

31

64

68 252

6.7

M. lysianassa

360

172

278

515

233

396

490

297

325

265

F. penicillatus

8

4

8

63

2

3

8

6

9

27

57

118

127

34

0.9

F. merguiensis

8

4

37

28

6

23

34

24

53

58

103

205

221

62

1.6

P. monodon

72

34

24

8

9

20

15

12

28

328

504 1038 1113 247

6.5

P. stylifera

721

345

436

209

95

359

509

397

437

813 1203 2,472 2654 819 21.8

P. hardwickii

222

106

300

259

142

432

832

676

828

275

394

812

886 474 12.6

Solenocera spp. 215

103

169

88

47

144

479

336

178

195

371

762

818 300

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

91

72

34

332

383

198

627

186

218

91

75

103

115

M. burkenroadi Others Total

524 1078 1151 468 12.4

14

0.4

125 197

5.2

2556 1223 2677 2754 1247 3352 3799 3030 3123 2704 4272 8780 9434 3765

100

Gear-wise penaeid prawn landings Gear-wise penaeid prawn landings of West Bengal are given in Table 5. It is evident that with the introduction of trawlers in marine fishing industry from 1986 onwards, the contribution by this gear to total penaeid prawn landings gradually increased. It is also evident that motorization of traditional craft has taken place from 1999 onwards and contribution of this gear to penaeid landings gradually increased after motorization. Majority of the catch was landed by mechanized vessels (78.5%) followed by motorized vessels (14.0%) and non-mechanized vessels (7.5%). Out of mechanized vessels, trawlers contributed 54% followed by mechanized bag netters (24.4%) and other mechanized vessels (0.1%).

Species composition Species composition of penaeid prawn landings by weight (t) in West Bengal during 19902002 is given in Table 6. About 10 species of penaeid prawns, five large sized commercial species (Penaeus monodon, F. penicillatus, F. merguiensis, Metapenaeus monoceros and M. affinis), three medium sized commercial species (M. dobsoni,

97

8.0

Parapenaeopsis stylifera and P. hardwickii) and two small sized commercial species (M. lysianassa and M. moyebi) contributed to the penaeid prawn fishery along the West Bengal coast during 19902002. Solenocera spp. also contributed in appreciable quantities. On an average P. stylifera dominated (21.8%) the fishery followed by M. dobsoni (17.1%) P. hardwickii (12.6%), M. lysianassa (12.4%), Solenocera spp. (8.0%), M. monoceros (6.8%), M. affinis (6.7%) and P. monodon (6.5%). The bigger species F. merguiensis (1.6%) and F. penicillatus (0.9%) formed only a negligible proportion of the landings.

Seasonal variations Quarter wise penaeid prawn landings of West Bengal during 1985-2005 are given in Table 7. Penaeid prawn landings were high (54.2%) in the 4th quarter (October-December) followed by first quarter (28.6%), third quarter (15.5%) and second quarter (1.7%). Ammini et al. (2004) observed that the second quarter is not suitable for fishing activities due to prevalence of cyclonic weather conditions and strong southern winds. Lean period

171

Handbook of Marine Prawns of India Table 7. Quarter-wise Penaeid prawn landings (t) of West Bengal during 1985-2005 Year

st

1 quarter 1985 26 1986 345 1987 201 1988 38 1989 82 1990 483 1991 343 1992 567 1993 1527 1994 207 1995 385 1996 647 1997 558 1998 976 1999 550 2000 609 2001 1993 2002 3044 2003 4591 2004 2697 2005 2483 Mean 1064 Percentage 28.6

rd

th

2 3 4 quarter quarter quarter 3 71 146 36 2 29 16 14 68 3 6 173 6 62 379 23 230 1820 38 119 723 74 205 1831 44 79 1104 54 201 785 25 543 2399 65 599 2488 37 685 1750 15 620 1512 29 514 1611 23 1486 2154 107 1295 5385 157 1337 4896 354 2710 5050 125 1055 3603 73 299 4426 1064 1064 1064 1.7 15.5 54.2

for prawn fishery coincides with the period of fishing ban along the east coast.

Non-penaeid prawn fishery Non-penaeid landings are comparatively higher than those of penaeid landings. The annual landings ranged from 681 t in 1987 to 20,792 t in 2003 with an average of 5,684 t (Table 2). The contribution of nonpenaeids to total fish landings varied from 2.1% in 1991 to 14.3% in 1988 with an average of 7.4%. During 1975-1984 the annual nonpenaeid prawn landings ranged from 48 t in 1982 to

172

nd

10,735 t in 1984 with an average of 2,100 t. The catch has increased by 170.7% from 1975-1984 to 19852004. Though the annual landings have increased by volume its contribution to total fish landings has come down by 31.5% from 1975-1984 to 19852004. The gear-wise non-penaeid prawn landings during 1985-2005 are given in Table 8. During 1985-1998 major portion of the catch was landed by mechanized bag nets and nonmechanized bag nets. As there was a gradual motorization of the bag netters by outboard motors there was enormous increase in the landings of nonpenaeids by these gears. Motorized bag nets (39.1%), mechanized bag nets (38.6%) and nonmechanized bag nets (22.8%) contributed to the nonpenaeid prawn landings in that order. Non-penaeid prawn landings by trawl nets were negligible (0.3%). The average annual non-penaeid prawn catches of West Bengal for every five year spell

Table 8. Gear-wise non-penaeid prawn landings (t) during 1985-2005 in West Bengal Year

Trawl nets

Mechanized bag nets

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Mean Percentage

0 0 0 0 0 0 359 0 0 0 0 21 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 19 0.3

2435 98 106 48 366 207 38 1068 1695 1140 1705 1256 1497 6807 1735 257 4751 3402 6181 8147 8455 2447 38.6

Outboard bag nets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2490 6182 4524 12648 11117 5009 10025 2476 39.1

Nonmechanized bag nets 425 1005 575 1670 817 1458 985 774 864 553 1591 2556 393 1824 1016 2076 3183 1614 3427 1502 2026 1444 22.8

Total

2860 1103 681 681 1183 1665 1382 1842 2559 1693 3296 3833 1890 8631 5241 8524 12458 17664 20792 14658 20506 6340 100

Prawn fisheries - West Bengal

estimated for the period 1976-2005 indicated an increasing trend for the whole period. Average annual non-penaeid prawn catch was 770 t during 1976-1980; 3,490 t during 1981-1985; 1,270 t during 1986-1990; 2,150 t during 1991-1995; 5,620 t during 1996-2000 and 17,220 t during 2001-2005. Unlike in penaeid prawn landings there has been a gradual increasing trend in non-penaeid prawn landings from 1976-1980 to 2001-2005 (CMFRI, 2007).

penaeid prawn landings were during the six-month period of October to March.

Management measures Protected areas The state of West Bengal has declared maximum area of the marine ecosystem (1,73, 645 ha) under protected areas and fishing has been

Quarter wise non-penaeid Table 10. Details of protected areas along the West Bengal coast Protected area Location (district) Area (ha) prawn landings are shown in Table 9. North & South The scenario is almost similar to that Sundarbans National Park (Tiger reserve) 24-Parganas 133010 of penaeid prawn landings. Fourth Halliday Sanctuary South 24 Parganas 595 quarter was highly productive by Lothian Island Sanctuary South 24 Parganas 3800 contributing 61.6%, followed by the Sajnakhali Sanctuary South 24 Parganas 3624 173645 first quarter (37%), third quarter (1.2%) Total marine protected area and second quarter (0.2%). It is banned throughout the year in these protected evident from Table 9 that 98.6% of the annual nonareas. Details of protected areas along the West Table 9. Quarter-wise non-penaeid prawn landings (t) Bengal coast are shown in Table 10. in West Bengal during 1985-2005

1st 2nd 3rd 4th quarter quarter quarter quarter 1985 113 10 67 2670 1986 870 34 59 140 1987 248 23 32 378 1988 248 23 32 378 1989 408 1 17 757 1990 784 8 90 783 1991 223 0 44 1115 1992 1157 89 26 570 1993 74 16 0 2469 1994 471 0 0 1222 1995 202 4 18 3072 1996 2728 42 130 933 1997 323 0 23 1544 1998 1508 11 10 7102 1999 3045 3 77 2116 2000 3720 6 42 4756 2001 3610 0 373 8475 2002 4833 10 113 12708 2003 9785 4 122 10881 2004 5966 3 176 8513 2005 8891 5 211 11399 Mean 2343 14 79 3904 Percentage 37.0 0.2 1.2 61.6 Year

All these four marine protected areas are wonderful natural areas in the world, covering 102 swampy islands, extensive mangroves, tiger project areas, estuaries, backwaters and water ways (Singh, 2003). Being rich in organic matter and nutrients these protected areas serve as nursery grounds for finfish and shellfish. These nursery grounds are potential areas for collection of seed of fin and shell fishes for brackish water aquaculture. Though ban is imposed in these areas fishermen violate the restrictions and collect the fish and shell fish seed and supply to aquaculture farmers. While collecting the fish seed only commercially important species like P. monodon (Tiger prawn) and Lates calcarifer (Asian sea bass) are segregated and the remaining juveniles of other species of prawns and finfish are discarded on the shore leading to their death. This process of discarding untargeted species of finfish and shellfish is leading to decrease in the recruitment to natural stock in the sea. Although Govt. of West Bengal has banned the use of mosquito net for collection of seed as per the Marine Fishing Regulation Rules, 1998, this ban is not in total implementation.

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Handbook of Marine Prawns of India

The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005 has clearly banned the collection of wild seed for aquaculture purpose. As per clause 8.1 of the Guidelines issued under the above Act for regulating coastal aquaculture, the following terms are very clear on these aspects:

Conflict between artisanal fishermen & fishermen of mechanized sector As the number of crafts and gears increased for the exploitation of marine fishery resources over a period, competition has emerged between traditional and mechanized sectors over the resources those are being exploited in the same

1. Only healthy and pathogen free seed from registered hatcheries should be used for Table 11. Classification of fishing areas for different classes of stocking in growout ponds. vessels along the West Bengal coast 2. Seed collection from the natural beds should be banned by the state governments with a view to protecting a large spectrum of finfish and shellfish species from being destroyed. 3. Accordingly, the state governments have been empowered to ban seed collection from the wild.

Class of fishing vessel Fishing Zone (length) Non-mechanized vessel Up to 9 m Zone A Above 9 m Zone B Mechanized vessels Up to 15 m

Zone C

Above 15 m

Zone D

As hatcheries could not produce sufficient quantity of pathogen free seed to meet the demand from farmers these guidelines are rarely followed. Farmers also had a belief that wild seed perform higher growth than hatchery produced seed in the grow-out ponds. Besides this many fisher folk are dependent on wild seed collection for their livelihood. All these factors promoted the collection of wild seed for aquaculture purpose rather than implementation of ban on collection of wild seed (Chattopadhyaya, 2007).

Closed season Although fishing ban is observed since 1999 along the east coast by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the ban is observed in the state of West Bengal only from 2008 onwards. In 2008 the ban was observed for 77 days from 15th April to 30th June and the ban period was reduced to 62 days during 2009 and 2010 from 15th April to 15th June. In 2011 the ban period was further reduced to 47 days from 15th April to 31st May.

174

Specified area for fishing Up to 8 km Up to 20 km but not below 8 km Up to 50 km but not below 20 km Beyond 50 km

fishing ground, and this lead to financial losses to traditional sectors because of damaging fishing gear of traditional fishermen by the operation of mechanized crafts. In view of avoiding overlapping in fishing grounds by the mechanized and traditional sectors the West Bengal Govt. promulgated Marine Fishing Regulation Act in 1993 for the purpose of regulation of marine fishing by vessels along the coast of the state. MFRA was amended in 1995 classifying fishing vessels in to four classes based on the length of the craft and dividing fishing zones in to four specifying areas for fishing by each class of fishing vessels. Details of MFRA 1995 are shown in Table 11. MFRA was amended again in 1998 demarcating Zones A and B. Zone A is limited up to 15 km territorial waters and Zone B is up to territorial waters beyond 15 km. Zone A is reserved for traditional craft powered by oars and sails, and vessels fitted with < 30 H.P engine. Zone B is allowed for fishing vessels fitted with > 30 H.P engine.