UPDATE FOR MAY 2019: Research to support the rational management of threadfin bream along India's westcoast is now a federal priority and backed by a major thrust of research by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Demersal Fisheries Division. (Ref. http://www.cmfri.org.in/division/demersal-fisheries-division)
Launched in April 2017 and led by Gadre Marine Export PVT Ltd., this FIP is working to address challenges in the Japanese threadfin bream trawl fishery (Nemipterus japonicus) operating along the length of India's west coast where the stock is located. The project will advance the objectives to improve this fishery, and will focus on the rules and tools in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Gadre Marine Export PVT Ltd. is a surimi processor purchasing threadfin bream from five coastal states in India. Gadre will host roundtables for the industry, fishing societies and regulators to meet, discuss, and set the objectives in motion.
A preliminary assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council Standard was completed in May 2017.The pre-assessment included a comprehensive assessment of scientific literature, interviews with fishing boat owners, and consultations with scientists in the coastal states. The major finding was that trawler boat owners, as well as scientific institutions, are optimistic that the fishery can rebound to optimum levels if concrete steps are undertaken over a five-year period.
Overfishing is occurring on west coast threadfin bream according to the 2014 stock assessment which recommended a 20% reduction in fishing. The major problem is overfishing on juveniles. Fishery scientists and managers agree it is the major target. There is a 61 day fishing ban during breeding season 1 June through 31 July every year. To further reduce fishing impacts on juveniles, Kerala has extended the ban and Maharashtra has required use of square mesh in the cod-end of trawls. The FIP supports the notion of a coastwide Winter closure to reduce fishing impacts on juveniles further.
Fundamentally, the area most needing improvement is the age of threadfin bream at capture. This can be achieved with short- and long-term measures that include seasonal bans to avoid fishing when juveniles dominate the catch, enforcement of increased mesh size in the cod-end of trawl nets, and seizure of illegal gears at fishing ports; so that harvest rates drop to appropriate levels.
UPDATE FOR MAY 2019: Research to support the rational management of threadfin bream along India's westcoast is now a federal priority and backed by a major thrust of research by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Demersal Fis
FIP Objective: Contribute a proposal for a new Winter ban on fishing to reduce overfishing on juvenile threadfin bream, by December 2019.
FIP Goal: Improve the fishery to see threadfin bream rebound on India's west coast to MSY levels by 2023.
FIP at a Glance