Efforts of Environmental Justice Program made department of fisheries to bring up new regulation to support traditional fishing

Fisheries in Karnataka coast supports livelihood for more than 1 million people directly and indirectly. Since the past four years, there has been a lot of discussion in Uttar Kannada about bull trawling fishing practice. Bull trawling is been operated with two trawl boats with one trawl net, each end (tow rope) tied to each boats and to increase the speed they use engine with Horse Power more than 300 which in not permitted by the Department of Fisheries. This kind of fishing practice destroys the sea beds and all kills the juvenile fishes. Due to unregulated practice of bull trawling more than 60 thousand traditional fishermen were affected along the Karnataka coast. Enviro-legal coordinators worked with traditional fishermen of Uttar Kannada to bring the regulation to restrict these practice under Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1986. Our clients also wrote department of fisheries several times with evidences. Finally the fisheries department has issued order saying “as per the provisions under section 3, subsection (1)(d) of the Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation 1986, it is been directed that bull trawling fishing up to 12 nautical miles in territorial waters of Karnataka state is prohibited”. The strict implementation of this order will reduce the fishing violations along the coast of Karnataka. It is one of big success in policy level works also done following methods of our theory of change.

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Congratulations to @mrhegde and team for this awesome policy win! Look forward to hearing how paralegals and communities bring this new order to life.

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Thank you @vivekmaru. Though the law has been improved people should learn to use it. Paralegals (Enviro-legal coordinators) have conducted meeting with fishermen and have conducted legal training on entire law and new order in 8 villages. Now monsoon season started we are hoping to meet more fishermen during fishing ban season. Our training module includes the basic about Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1986 and new bull trawling ban order and how to file complaint using these. Already three fishermen filed complaint using our training documents we shared during training and hoping that more fishermen will use this law.

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Great to get this update @mrhegde - thank you. This is really interesting - I like that you call your paralegals “enviro-legal coordinators” and the work they are doing sounds very important to help fishermen to know and use the law in support of their livelihood. :fish:

Do you have links to the training modules, the law itself or any other related supporting documents for fellow members to learn more from you? We can also share them via the resource library. @michaelotto and @MayaReddy would be glad to help.