Fishing not allowed during breeding season

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Mumbai, Jul 17 (UNI) Maharashtra Fisheries Minister Aness Ahmed today informed the legislative council that fishing would not be allowed during the mating season and any such attempt would henceforth be considered an offence.

The Minister was replying to a question by Sanjay Dutt (Congress) and others. He said that at present the penalty for fishing during breeding season is Rs 1,000, but now it will be increased to Rs 50,000 and under the amended act if a person is caught for three times consecutively while fishing, he will have to pay three times the penalty and will also land in jail.

The act also bans fishing in creek areas, he said. Licenses of trawlers would be cancelled, if found violating the rule during the ban period, the Minister said.

The ban period is from June 10 to August 15. He denied any scarcity of fish in the State and said that the number of fishermen has almost doubled this year.

''The state is planning to promote aqua culture and in some parts we will build ponds, where fish can grow faster within a short period, Mr Ahmed said.

He later told reporters that the State government had short listed four foreign companies for developing four aquariums in the state, with an investment of Rs 200 crore.

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