Shrinking stocks

Published: Tuesday 15 April 2003

Sleeping fisherfolk and idle trawlers at the Visakhapatnam harbour bear testimony to the fact that India's east coast is rapidly being deprived of its fish population. The average catch has fallen steeply.

Only a few years ago, the sea off the harbour was a place for rich pickings, with mechanised boats managing to garner 10-15 kilogrammes (kg) of prawn and 200-300 kg of fish daily. Today, the same boats are able to scrape together barely 1 kg of prawn and less than 50 kg of fish on a lucky day. Various reasons are being attributed to the trend. Some fisherfolk blame oil and sewage pollution. But a senior official of the Fishery Survey of India says that excessive fishing is the main cause for the decline.

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