Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol. 19 Issue 03, 2013; Page No.(853-858)

VALIDATION OF POTENTIAL FISHING ZONE FORECAST ALONG THE RATNAGIRI COAST OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIA

Abhijeet Umashankar Thakare, Shirdhankar Mangesh Madhukar, Raghuvendra Pai and Milind S. Sawant

Abstract

The Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) of all kinds of marine fishing fleet is depleting day-by-day as the number of fishing vessels of all categories has increased remarkably, making the fishing business uneconomical. The time spent by vessel on seeking the resources is more thus results into additional spending on fuel cost. Considering the problem of the fishers the present study was undertaken to validate Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) forecast is generated and disseminated by Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) for both west and east coast of India. Mirkarwada being one of the important fishing harbours landing majority of purse-seine catches in this area was selected as base-port in the study area. Coastal area between 18o 00’ N 72o 00’ E to 15o 43’ N 73o 33’ E with 288 km coastline was selected for the present study. Each potential fishing zone forecasts during the study period was disseminated to 15 purse-seiners, which were selected as sampling units and the feedback was collected from them regarding location of fishing, catch composition and duration of fishing. The analysis of data revealed that catches recorded in notified PFZs were significantly higher than non-PFZs with 43.90% enhancement in catches throughout the season (P < 0.05) except in the month of March. The relationship established between total catch on number of hauls of purse-seines fished in PFZ (Y=1353.9X) was better than the relation established for purse-seines fished in non-PFZ (Y=866.41X) whereas, fishing success rate in PFZ was 72.79% during the fishing season. The present study concluded that the vessels fishing in notified PFZ were benefited with increased Catch Per Unit Efforts and reduction in fuel expenditure and fishing hours over the vessels fished in Non-PFZs.

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