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Ban on mahseer angling suggested

Having fished the river Cauvery with friends earlier this year, and with a trip booked for the near future, we are now worried about the future of the jungle camp on the banks of this famous river, and the possible return of serious poaching…..

Un doing all the fabulous conservation work done by the fishing guides and wardens!

We wait and see.

Ban on mahseer angling suggested

Subhash Chandra N S Bangalore, Sept 8, DHNS
The State Forest Department is contemplating a ban on angling of mahseer fish and has sought a clarification from the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF) in this regard.
In a submission to the High Court, the State has said the department had already directed the State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts to suspend angling in all stretches of river Cauvery and in areas allocated to them.

The Bush Betta fishing camp has fuelled the debate regarding the ban as they have approached the High Court seeking renewal of lease for the fishing camp for angling of mahseer.

The State, based on the Union Government’s letter dated June 7, 2010, has begun discussion regarding the angling of mahseer in sanctuary. The letter says that angling and its release into the water immediately also amounts to hunting.

In a meeting conducted on July 19, 2010, chaired by Meera C Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests Ecology and Environment Department, K Jyothiramlingam, Principal  Secretary, Tourism, B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and  Wildlife warden, N D Tiwari, Additional PCCF, Jungle Lodges and resorts, Sanjay Mohan, CCF and Executive Director, JLR and Nagraj Hampole, CCF and Secretary Forests have resolved to write to Union Ministry seeking clarification regarding the ban.

According to the proceedings of the copy of the minutes of the meeting available with Deccan Herald, the Union Ministry says “capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving or baiting any wildlife or captive animal amounts to hunting and presuming capture of mahseer amounts to sport is wrong. Even hunting was a sport earlier and has been banned now.”

Managing Director, Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) cites a scientific paper by Dr A J T John Singh, former dean, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) which says angling and release are helpful in conservation as the protection is achieved due to presence of anglers.

He further mentions that mahseer has received more protection in stretches of Cauvery where angling is permitted compared to those area where it is not permitted.

Also citing to another publication ‘Biology and fishery of mahseers in upper stretches of river Cauvery by D S Krishna Rao in 2009, he said that the river stretch from Doddamakali and Shivanasamudra is unguarded and cases of using dynamite to kill fish is reported from here.

The meeting however ended with a resolution to request the MOEF to reconsider the comments made by it until then the angling of mahseer be suspended.