Experts conduct training session, allay apprehensions over loss of catch A demonstration-cum-training programme on turtle excluder device (TED) for fishermen was conducted by ICAR Central Institute of Fisheries Technology on board a fishing trawler near Visakhapatnam recently.
The programme was conducted in collaboration with the WWF-India, Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association and Forest Department. Fifteen fishermen were given hands-on training at sea on installation and operation of the TED. Installation cost TEDs are devices that allow escaping of turtles from the fishing nets without resulting in significant loss of shrimp and other catch.
The indigenous design of TED was developed at the ICAR-CIFT, with a focus on reducing catch loss, which has been a cause of concern for trawler fishermen in adopting the device.
It can be fabricated and installed with minimum training at the local workshop and net making skills at a cost of about 7,000. The programme was conducted as part of the ICAR-CIFT project titled ‘enhancing awareness among stakeholders of trawl systems in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha through capacity building’ on the use of CIFT-TED for sea turtle conservation funded by the WWF -India.
Raghu Prakash, Principal Scientist and in-charge of Visakhapatnam Centre of ICAR-CIFT said the hands-on training programme would clear fishermen’s misconceptions over catch loss associated with the TEDs. Sea turtles are endangered species, which are protected under the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
They are also protected under international conventions such as Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES 1973). Sea turtles are listed as critically endangered species on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red list. Among others, Vinod M, Coralie d’ Lima, Sneha from WWF-India, U. Sreedhar, Kamei G from CIFT took part in the training programme.