Modernization and Expansion of Fisheries

Modernization and Expansion of Fisheries:

There is evidence all over the IOR of depletion of resources and overcrowding of inshore fishing grounds. The increasing availability of small-scale, modern fishing technologies such as outboard engines, fibre reinforced plastic boats, hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and so forth have contributed to fishers in the artisanal and small-scale fisheries in several Indian Ocean countries moving out of their traditional fishing grounds, and also fishing more intensively.

Growing Conflicts:
Previously conflicts in coastal waters may have been exacerbated by large-scale industrial fishing vessels or bottom trawling units moving into the inshore waters. However, today there seems to be a change in the direction of the conflicts. They are often precipitated by the artisanal, small-scale (gillnet and longline/handline gear groups) moving out into fishing grounds more usually the preserve of large-scale industrial fishing vessels, or into the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of other countries. The conflicts have expanded in scope and scale.

The trans-border illegal movement of fishing vessels amongst riparian nations is more pronounced amongst the South Asian and South East Asian countries and between the South Asian and island countries in the Indian Ocean. There are reported cases, which are on the increase, of Indian fishing vessels being apprehended in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan and Myanmar; of Sri Lankan fishing vessels being apprehended in India, Seychelles, Somalia and Myanmar; of Pakistani fishing vessels being apprehended in India, Oman and Iran; and of Thai vessels being apprehended in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, for fishing illegally. Irrespective of the size, nature and origin of the fishing unit—whether or not they are small or big, using destructive or passive gear, belonging to riparian or non-riparian nations—countries in the region deal more stringently with illegal fishing by foreign fishing vessels than the way they deal with irresponsible fishing by their own domestic fishing vessels.