Put an end to blast fishing at KRS
Voice of The Reader

Put an end to blast fishing at KRS

January 1, 2019

Sir,

During my recent trip to KRS Dam, I stopped near the main big bridge from where the huge water gates are visible. I did not want to go further due to the rush of tourists on that day. On the other side where the water flows on its epic journey I could see a few fishermen in their basket dinghy. The closest at about 50 meters away had a father-daughter duo pulling in their nets and gathering fish.

Further ahead, there were two women casting their nets from another similar dinghy. What a wonderful sight and I missed carrying my DSLR and clicking some good pictures. Further down there was one more dinghy with a single fisherman, could have easily been about 300 meters from the bridge and on the right hand side there was a pump house sort of lookout building. I was intrigued with this one as he casually seemed to paddle around and I wondered what he will reel in. He stood up in the basket dinghy and threw something. And in a matter of seconds there was a huge blast and a splash of water. Soon, he threw another blast stick which was bigger in splash and sound than the first one.

All the birds around swooped in to grab the dead fish. The fisherman (more likely a poacher) started pulling in the net to gather the dead fish. He is no outsider because he had a basket dingy and for sure a local.

A few months back there was a huge hue and cry about how blasting at the quarries can affect the KRS Dam. The quarries are located about 8 kms from the reservoir, chances are quite high that it would affect the Dam for the sole reason that blast tremors travel quite a distance and could turn fatal. But what about blasting activity that blatantly take place half a kilometre away from the Dam? Will this not affect the bridge and the Dam?

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Isn’t blast fishing illegal? A quick look up on Google brings up the following result: “Blast fishing or dynamite fishing is the practice of using explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection. This often illegal practice can be extremely destructive to the surrounding ecosystem, as the explosion often destroys the underlying habitat (such as coral reefs) that supports the fish.”

Being a nature enthusiast, it pains to see the amount of damage being done here. The blast sound is deafening as sound travels farther in water and bounces greater. I am quite sure this can be heard in the nearest village/ KRS office. This is decimating the ecosystem and schools of fish. No wonder the fresh water fish population in the Cauvery basin is so low. On further enquiry with the locals, I found out that blasting is very common and none of the authorities are concerned or are aware and look the other way for whatever reasons. So this is not a rare incident.

Some more discussion with my friends brought a few more interesting facts. The most noticeable one is that whenever you visit any of the tourist spots near Srirangapatna such blasts are easily audible quite frequently.

I thought possessing any dynamite without proper permission is severely punishable. Is it a problem of willingness in preventing this or an issue of willingly neglecting this issue by officials and the Police Department?

– A concerned citizen, Mysuru, 27.12.2018

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