In the backdrop of rampant juvenile fishing, the Fisheries Department has swung into action, carrying out checks on fishing boats arriving with catch at fish landing centres in the district.

An official of the department said two boats had been detained on Wednesday after the department received information that juvenile mackerels had been caught. However, the official said that on examining the fish, it was found that the bulk of them was not below the minimum legal size prescribed by the State government. The boat owners and fishermen were let off with a warning.

The official said that the department was also conducting inspections to prevent practices like pelagic trawling in which two boats are used as a pair to fish. Charles George of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi said that there had been reports of pair trawling off the shores of Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Thrissur recently, and that the department should take action against such practices.

He appealed to the Fisheries Department to take stringent action against any boat engaged in juvenile fishing and called for awareness campaigns among fishermen about the danger to fish resources posed by juvenile fishing. A meeting is being convened on Friday to discuss the issues as traditional fishermen in Ernakulam district have followed the norm against juvenile fishing so far, he said.

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