Why Goa bans use of LED lights by fishing trawlers

Panaji: Goa government has banned the use of LED lights by trawlers for fishing even as 25 fishermen were detained after they tried to block a road in Panaji in protest against the use of such lights.

The fishermen have been demanding a ban on fishing with the help of LED lights which attract a large number of fish due to their powerful glow underwater. They say their use would lead to a fish famine in Goa waters.

"We agreed to their demand and issued a notification banning LED lights. We also issued directions asking to impound the trawlers fitted with such lights. We are taking all the measures to ensure that LED lights are removed. We are fully supporting the fishermen," State Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado told reporters last night outside Panaji police station.

He said the state government had agreed to all their demands but some fishermen continued to block the road. State Rural Development Agency Minister Alina Saldanha was also present along with Furtado at the police station.

Speaking to reporters, Inspector Siddhanth Shirodkar said today, "The crowd had blocked the road and jetties used by offshore casinos. We had to forcefully evict them and took 25 fishermen into custody last evening."

He said police had to resort to mild lathi-charge after some fishermen attacked the police on duty. The fishermen had blocked the channels of Mandovi river in Panaji and Sal river at Betul village in South Goa from Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Marine police cleared the blockade on both the rivers which affected inland waterways navigation. The operations of offshore casinos had come to a halt since the last two days after the fishermen blocked the channel of Mandovi river.

They resumed operations late last night after feeder boats were allowed to ply customers from the jetties to the offshore vessels.

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