In a meeting of the secretary of fisheries department and the secretary of forest department, it was decided to make amendments to the act and give more powers to fisheries regarding poachers. At present, only the forest department can take action against those poaching the fishes listed under Schedule I.
“Two weeks ago, it was decided to make an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 so that fisheries department gets the power to take action against fish poachers. A proposal regarding the same has already been prepared,” said an official from the forest department. According to sources in the forest department, it has been stated in the proposal that assistant commissioner of fisheries will be given powers to book offenders. When contacted, Principal Secretary (Forest) Praveen Pardeshi was unavailable for comment.
Earlier, the forest department had the power to act against offenders but couldn’t do much due to lack of boats and machinery. Now, the fisheries will not only take appropriate steps to stop illegal killing of fish, but will also create awareness about the species listed under Schedule 1. “Many are not aware about the fish species listed in Schedule I. The fisheries department will now create awareness,” added the official.
Did you know?
Under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the maximum punishment for poaching the species of fish listed under Schedule I is seven years of imprisonment and Rs 25,000 in fine. Whale shark, Ganges stingray, Ganges shark, Pondicherry shark, Largetooth sawfish, Knifetooth sawfish, Giant guitarfish, Shark ray, and Longcomb sawfish are some of the species listed Under Schedule I.