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Supreme Court issues notice to TN government on plea against ban on fishing using purse seine nets

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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the state of Tamil Nadu, after an application sought interim stay on the Tamil Nadu Government order banning fishing via purse seine nets in toto.

A Bench comprising Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Vikram Nath passed the order on an application challenging the Madras High Court order, dismissing the Public Interest Litigation filed by Fisherman Association against the state government order.

The applicant apprised the Bench that around 15 lakh fishermen had been affected by the order. The Counsel for the applicant argued that the ban should be lifted, in view of 15 lakh people’s livelihood, as well as for Blue Economy.

Filed through Advocate Narender Kumar Verma, the plea said,

“Every year in Tamil Nadu, the fishing ban is implemented from April 15 to June 15. The two-month ban on mechanised fishing helps the breeding of fish schools and helps them recover from mechanised fishing. The annual 61-day fishing ban aims to facilitate fish breeding.”

In this connection, the application sought the direction of the court to declare the order as unconstitutional.

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The Bench directed the Counsel to serve a copy of IA to the state government and listed the matter after the completion of service.

Another petition has been pending before the Apex Court, seeking similar directions.

This plea has been filed by the Fisherman Care Association hailing from the coastal villages of Tamil Nadu through Advocate MP Pathibaran, stating that they were dependent on fishing for their livelihood and they used traditional boats rather than mechanised boats for the purpose.

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The plea had submitted the report of the Technical Committee, which said,

“Considering the quantum of investment in purse seines and the lack of alternate gears to catch small pelagics, a total ban on purse seine may not be economically advisable. Added to this, the two gears are relatively energy efficient, and leave a low carbon footprint.”

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