Maharashtra government has said in a notification that it is going to penalise fishermen who carry out fishing using LED lights. According to the notification, the licence and registration of vessels found using LED lights to attract fish will be cancelled.
The notification has highlighted that the use of LED in fishing was banned earlier in 2016 but the same continued to be used rampantly, posing a threat to marine life. Apart from the cancellation of licences, any fishing vessel found to be using illegal means like LED lights will be seized and monetary penalty around five times the cost of its fish catch at the time of seizure will be imposed.
Fishermen from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar and Mumbai had been complaining to the fisheries department, urging it to crackdown on LED trawlers that were attracting large amounts of fish through LED lights. The fishermen had been claiming that such practices were affecting their livelihoods, especially those of smaller fishermen.