Sardine famine to continue along Kerala coast this year: CMFRI

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 05, 2020 Published on August 05, 2020

Experts request utmost care in the harvesting of this fish variety

The availability of Indian oil sardine, the favourite fish of Keralites, will remain at a low level along the Kerala coastal waters during the current year as well, said a study by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

The sardine famine being experienced along the Kerala coast will continue, and experts working in the oil sardine and fishery sector have requested for utmost care in the harvesting of this particular fish variety.

Oil sardine production was adversely affected in the recent past due to ecological modifications following El Nino, which impacted the normal spawning process of the species and its growth. As on now, the sea environment is not favourable for oil sardine maturation and spawning, said scientists at the Pelagic Fisheries division at CMFRI.

At this critical period along with abstaining from juvenile fishing, scientists asked the fishing community to exercise extreme care to spare matured spawning stocks to allow them to release eggs. The oil sardine stock will multiply and be restored to the normal level only through strict follow-up of instructions issued by the departments.

As of now, there is no legal prohibition or restrictions in catching matured spawns. However, when the availability of oil sardines was very low, it is desirable to avoid catching of matured stocks which are ready for spawning, said CMFRI.

It is observed that the ready-to-spawn oil sardines are mainly seen in areas that are very close to the shores. Hence, it is advised to carry out fishing activities near the shores with more care to avoid harvest of such stocks. Such a responsible fishing would help fast restoration of oil sardine stock in the coming years, the report said.

CMFRI has initiated the oil sardine forecasting programme since last year.

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Published on August 05, 2020
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