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Thread: Mahseer Angling inside Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Mahseer Angling inside Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Please see this article that came on Deccan Herald on 9th Sep.

    The authorities are saying that the Mahseer Fish gets protected from poachers due to presence of anglers in Cauvery. So, is the forest department is handing over protection to Resorts and Anglers?? Can we start similar operations inside Bandipur and Nagarhole National parks so that the Tigers get protection due to presence of tourists and resorts?

    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.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...suggested.html
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Tiger Ramesh; 14-09-2010 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Added a scanned article

  2. #2
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    Default

    I have immense respect for Dr. A J T Johnsingh. However, I don't agree with the argument that angling helps in conservation. The basic premise that angling leads to conservation is wrong. One can extend this argument and allow picknickers inside core areas saying their presence would deter poachers and wood cutters.

    The primary job of protection of wilderness areas and wildlife is vested with the forest department. Our wildlife needs inviolate spaces. Unfortunately, the Karnataka forest department appears to be too eager to relinquish their primary responsibility.

    One should take steps to stop people from using abhorrent practices like blasting dynamites in the water to kill fish and other aquatic creatures. Patrolling has to be intensified. The root cause of the problem needs to be tackled. Conservation needs strong measures. Half hearted measures and misguided actions will further deteriorate the wilderness areas.

    Sabyasachi

  3. #3
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    Default

    I have to disagree about anglers not being best placed to help protect rivers. While I am fully aware of the need for Forestry Dept officials to be the ones charged with the task of protecting rivers, in practise, they rarely do. In fact rivers are usually ignored by all unless there is some other motive for considering them.
    Conservation work in the UK is mostly masterminded by anglers. The authorities tasked with protecting rivers, are, even here, often the worst polluters. If they are left to their own devices, no one will give rivers a voice.

    While I appreciate angling is not accepted by many people as a legitimate hobby, there is no doubt in my mind that the fish do not suffer any amount of distress when handled by experienced anglers. They certainly do not die as a result of the act of being caught. This is shown time and again by repeated captures of easily recognisable fish.
    To equate sport angling with hunting is stretching the point to make a case. Like going to court to prove that a slap to your head should lead to a murder charge.

    I do hope this case will be resolved quickly. A large amount of money is generated by angling tourism in Karnataka, it would be a shame to lose it and see the rivers suffer more than they do at present.

    Interesting to see that the article from the Deccan Herald is illustrated with a picture of a mahseer - a Himalayan mahseer! Tor putitora does not and should not be in the River Kaveri, despite the Karnataka State Fishery Dept's support for stocking fish bred in captivity by Tata at Lonavla. Where Tor putitora is one of brood stock. Experiments have been run on crossing T putitora with Tor khudree (the native Kaveri mahseer), I wonder how many 'concerned activists' stand up to stop that sort of thing going on?
    On balance, I would prefer to see a few anglers keeping an eye on the river than let any number of hair-brained schemes loose that have historically destroyed that mighty river's capacity to feed and water most of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

    Perhaps taking steps to stop illegal sand mining on the river's bed would be a far more worthy task?

  4. #4
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    Default

    One has to respect the law of the land. As simple as that. If people want angling to be allowed inside a protected area then the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act has to be amended. Period. Any one can have opinions. The laws of this country have to be respected, adhered to and implemented. Any thing else is a voilation. This is just not about a river. Its a complete Wild Life habitat and the duty to protect the same falls squarely under the Forest Department and not Anglers. Catching and releasing a Mahseer fish does not serve any purpose. Very soon people will want to be allowed to catch and release birds. Catch and release Deer etc. This has to stop.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Debatable subject.

    1) Indian rivers are least studied. Most of the rivers are in a very sad state and native aquatic life forms have perished. Fisheries are state subjects. I know a dedicated retired fisheries director in Tamilnadu who has done extensive survey of fresh water fishes. He is an expert in identification of fishes - the knowledge acquired through capture and release methodology. He asserts that identification of fishes is possible only by capturing them in a novel way.

    Without adequate knowledge and research there were many ill conceived plans such as introduction of exotic fish species, inter breeding among species (as quoted by Steve) etc. The status of hill stream fishes such as Mahseer is in a severe state of despair. The eggs of Mahseer are demersal (capable of sinking in riverbed) and continuous silting of rivers in the hills due to construction of dams is threatening the very existence of this species.
    These issues are certainly far more serious and needs immediate attention.

    Dr. Johnsingh is an intense seeker of Mahseer and this passion led to assesment of several rivers and streams in our country. He too was able to study only through capture and release methodology. Thus angling does help in research for sure.

    2) If a non-serious tourist seeks angling, we have every reason to worry. If there is no motive of research or study behind the capture and if it is purely for pleasure as it invariably happens in India, there is no point in permitting angling. For a tourist Mahseer is just a fish.

    Need of the hour is to survey the rivers and prescribe conservation formulae. Sand mining is the most serious issue and authorities should look in to these issues more seriously.

  6. #6
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    There are many things that are not allowed by the Constitution of India, especially with regard to protecting wildlife and habitat. Unfortunately, lots of these things are conveniently overlooked by the very people who are tasked with protecting them.
    Historically, in many places around the World, anglers set up bodies to protect the environment in which they pursue their sport. They have the utmost regard for the fish they try to catch and wish to preserve the river or wetland habitat.
    In so many places, if it were not for anglers, the authorities would get away with breaching their duties.
    I am not arguing about the merits of the practise of angling at this point, merely stating: without anglers, the rivers will die!

    10 years ago, the upper reaches of the Kaveri were being systematically poisoned and netted for anything that swam. Thanks to a local group, who have angling as a primary consideration with regard to the river, it is now a haven for all kinds of wildlife. Still under extreme pressure, but safe for now.
    The Forestry Dept long since gave up any pretence that they were concerned or could protect this area. In the last two years they have extended effective control of the entire catchment to this group thanks to the work they do.
    Without angling, this group would be far less a body and may even struggle to survive.

  7. #7
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    Default Central Government Bans angling

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ing-camps.html

    MoEF’s reiteration of ban may lead to their closure
    Centre to reel in fishing camps
    Subhash Chandra N S, Bangalore, DHNS:

    For the fishing camps of State owned Jungle lodges and resorts (JLR), as well as a few private fishing camps, the end of the road is near as the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has confirmed the ban on angling of Mahsheer fish in the State’s protected areas.


    In July 2010, the State Government directed the JLR to suspend its activities at the fishing camps until the MOEF clarified its stance regarding the ban on angling. It also made a submission in the High Court, stating that it had written to MOEF seeking clarification. It also submitted that the department had directed the State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts to suspend angling in all stretches of river Cauvery and in areas allocated to them.The State owns three of the four fishing camps in Cauvery wildlife Sanctuary Doddamakali, Bheemeshwari and Galibore.

    In response to the letter dated August 3, 2010 in connection with an appeal before the High Court challenging the withdrawal of permission to a fishing camp in sanctuary, Prakriti Srivastava, Deputy Inspector General (wildlife), MOEf, has replied, reiterating her Ministry’s ban on angling of Masheer.

    “The earlier stand of the Ministry is reiterated. As per Section 2 (16) (b), Section 29 and Section 33 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Angling of Mahsheer inside the protected area is illegal and cannot be allowed,” Srivastava said in a letter dated October 11, 2010, available with Deccan Herald.

    The earlier letter of MOEF dated June 7, 2010 says that angling and its release into the water immediately amounted to hunting. “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.”

    Following its petition in the High Court, a meeting convened by the State Government on July 19, 2010, resolved to write write to the Union Ministry seeking clarification regarding the ban. Chaired by Meera C Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests Ecology and Environment Department, it was attended by 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.

    The petitioners Bush Betta fishing camp (BBFC) had moved the High Court challenging the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee.

    On a petition by a City based wildlife enthusiast, Tiger G Ramesh in February 2010, the CEC had directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden to reconsider permission for a fishing camp in the sanctuary.

  8. #8
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    Default Cat Fish caught and cooked in an angling camp !!!

    I have attached a link I found on the net. Please read the article in full. You will find that one of the anglers is quoted saying that the cat fish he caught (inside a protected area) went to the camp for dinner. The article further talks about lunch menu which also contains cat fish. To talk about responsible conservation efforts !!!! The Indian wildlife Act very clearly says that no wildlife can be exploited in any form inside a protected area.

    http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/V...tml&hl=cauvery

  9. #9
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    Fish in menu doesn't come as a surprise. Who is there to check? And who cares? Whether it is an endangered species of a common one doesn't bother most of the people.

    Sabyasachi

  10. #10

    Default

    I fully agree with Mr Lockett. Its sad that we arent aware of the intricacies of the situation. On the face of it,angling might look like unnecessary pleasure seeking,but sustainable angling actually HAS succeeded in saving large stretches of rivers and associated riverine habitats from the depredations of poachers,whose techniques of dynamiting or gill netting are far more unsustainable than the use of the line and the rod.
    I have just read Mr Johnsingh's book "field days",in which he wonderfully describes how sustainable angling has helped save the mahseer of the Cauvery. I do not think that he has any vested motives for praising the current methods of river management wrt angling.

  11. #11
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    Please adhere to the law of the land..if you want to do angling in a protected area then please go and change the law..conservation through angling is a fallacy..doesn't matter who wrote what book..

  12. #12
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    Mr Ramesh is correct to point out that angling inside a protected area is against the law of the land as recently tested in the Centre. Perhaps there does need to be consideration of the relevant laws, as they very often achieve the opposite effect from that intented, by allowing poachers to operate in core areas with very little fear of being caught.

    He is, however, wrong to assert that "conservation through angling is a fallacy", as has been shown over at least half a century in the UK, where without robust efforts by angling bodies, many of the people who are charged with protecting rivers and other waterbodies would have laid them waste.
    The simple fact is that anglers on the river bank act as eyes and ears to report both poaching and pollution, which are also illegal under the laws of India.
    As I have reported on this forum before, the main area of Kaveri Sanctuary where the angling ban was enforced is once again under pressure from dynamite fishing. This is only because anglers are not now allowed there.
    Yes, the Forest Guards should be doing their job to uphold the law, but fish are once again dying at the hands of explosions which do indiscriminate damage to all the flora and fauna of the river.

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