Kanyakumari: Alarmed by the steep depletion in population of young savala (ribbon) fish off this coast, the fisheries department has ordered a ban on its fishing.
Fisheries department officials the order had been issued Under Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulatory Act, 1983 and that fishermen had been warned against using banned fishing nets to net these fish.
Fishermen association President James said the order had been received by all fishermen associations as well as to churches from Arockiapuram to Periakadu.
Department officials said mechanised boat fishermen from Chinnamuttam use banned nets to snare the young ones and that hundreds of such fish are killed during the season.
The fishermen use trawl nets to net LepturoCanthus Savala and Trichurus Lepturus fish varities found off this coast.Both varieties are export-variety fish. More than 60 per cent of them is exported. While the fish could grow upto 800 or 900 mm, they were netted when they measure just 20 to 25 MM.
Officials said if the young fish are netted on such a large scale, it would lead to extinction of the species.
Ribbon fish were available abundantly till a decade ago.
Officials said young savalas decay faster and cause foul smell and hygiene problem in areas surrounding the fishing harbour.
A Antony Xavier, Assistant Director, Fisheries(in charge)at Chinnamuttam said "The ban comes into effect from Mar 15.