Opposed to the previous compensation of Rs 25,000, the amount will be fixed based on the species every time a turtle, shark, dolphin or any other protected marine animal is caught during fishing
The Maharashtra fisheries and forest department on Monday amended the compensation policy for fishermen who release protected marine species back into the sea by cutting their fishing nets.
Opposed to the previous compensation of Rs 25,000, the amount will now be fixed based on the species every time a turtle, shark, dolphin or any other protected marine animal is caught during fishing. Besides, fishermen can now apply for compensation thrice a year.
Under the Mangrove Foundation’s conservation project, fishermen, who cut their nets to free protected marine mammals and fishes, were entitled to a compensation of up to Rs 25,000. The scheme was launched in 2018 to conserve the endangered marine species and ensure the fishing community’s participation in the process. The scheme was based on the Gujarat model where the forest department compensates fishermen for rescuing whales.
Under the amended compensation scheme, if species like Olive Ridley, Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles among others are released by cutting the net, fishermen will receive Rs 12,500 for the first time. For second and third such instances within a year, the compensation amount will be Rs 10,000 and Rs 8,000 respectively.
The compensation will remain Rs 25,000 for large marine animals such as whales, dolphins and Pondicherry sharks among others. For the second and third such instances within a year, the compensation will be to the tune of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.
On many occasions, dolphins and turtles get stuck in fishing nets. To release them, fishermen have to cut their nets. However, it becomes economically unviable for them to release the creatures as cutting the nets would permanently damage it.
Under the amended policy, a fisherman will have to give details of his boat and fishing license, GPS location of the incident, photographs and details of the fish/marine mammals that were caught.
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