INDIA: subsidies to artisanal fisheries (2)

Plowing through news items on fisheries subsidies I came across an article published in “The Times of India” on 5 April 2009 titled 'Sea could become watery grave for fishing'.

The article is about the effects that an uncontrolled growth of the fishing can have on the sustainability of the industry. I quote a few extracts:

Scientists warn that the fishing industry in India faces a crisis, caused by overfishing. Around 4,000 trawlers prowl the coast off Maharashtra, their metallic jaws scraping the bottom of the seabed and destroying marine habitat.

"Costs are spiralling but the returns continue to diminish,'' says Moreshwar Patil of the Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti whose boats sail from Cuffe Parade. "Despite the diesel subsidy we receive, each week-long fishing trip can cost a large trawler up to Rs 1 lakh.'' The Kolis now venture further out and remain in mid-sea for a much longer period to catch a fraction of the fish they did in the 80s.

And the article ends as follows:

"Cheap diesel and loans to purchase trawlers only encourage more people to exploit the wealth of the sea. Subsidies may seem attractive in the short term but they could empty the ocean of fish,''

Here is the link to the article:

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