Incorporating Traditional Knowledge with Geographic Information Systems for Management of Marine Resources along the Ratnagiri Coast, Maharashtra

Singh, Jaspreet and Singh, Ram and Mohite, Ashish and Bhendekar, S N (2017) Incorporating Traditional Knowledge with Geographic Information Systems for Management of Marine Resources along the Ratnagiri Coast, Maharashtra. Journal of Environment and Bio-Sciences, 31 (1). pp. 27-31. ISSN 0973-6913

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    Fisheries around the world are reported to be in a crisis. Around 30 percent fish stocks are over exploited, 57 percent are fully exploited, and 13 percent are non-fully exploited 1. The total marine fish landings from India during the year 2015 wereestimated at 3.40 million tonnes thatrecorded a 5.3% decline compared to 3.59 million tonnes in 2014. The estimated marine fish landings of Maharashtra was 2.65 lakh tonnes with 23% decrease from the previous year 2 .The depletion of fish stocks all over the world could be attributed to lack of appropriate fisheries management systems, inappropriate and unrestrained commercial fishing activities, increasing food (fish) demand and heavy inshore pollution. The problem of stock collapse forced fisheries authorities in different parts of the world to consider use of GIS in fisheries management. Regulation in marine sector can be successful only with the cooperation of fishing community. For this, tools like Participatory GIS will act as a community based natural resource management (CBNRM) for establishing sustainable resource management policies 3. Geographic Information Systems are a powerful set of computer-based tools used to collect, store, manipulate, Geographical Information System (GIS) is an improved system for the management of fishing activities throughout the world. Participatory GIS (PGIS) and public participatory GIS (PPGIS) are viewed as more efficient tools in solving social and resource conservation issues, which empower communities those who are often ignored in traditional GIS practices. In this study, PGIS was used in the preparation of thematic maps of fisheries resources from trawlers, spatio-temporal distribution of trawl catch/bycatch and characterization of fishing activities of trawlers along the Ratnagiri coast, Maharashtra. Trawl is the major mechanized gear used in India. In Maharashtra, major fishing gears that supported the fishery were trawlnet (57.2%), purseseine (16%), bagnet (15%) and gillnet (11.2%). Study showed that the trawlers from Ratnagiri operated between 15°53'00''N to 17°22'00''N latitude and 73°25'00''E to 72°55'00''E longitude. Their depth of operation was between 10m to 64m. The month-wise distance travelled by multiday trawlers varied from 9km to 127km. Maximum fishing operation was carried out in the southwest (SW) direction. The catch percentage by multiday trawler varied from 61% to 96% while in the case of singleday trawlers, it varied from 70% to 97%. The study showed that singleday trawlers were better in terms of reduced discard rate. The catch and discard from multiday and singleday trawler was highest from September to December. Around 134 species caught by multiday and singleday trawlers were identified. Spatio-temporal distribution map would help in understanding the area and season of abundance of catch and bycatch. Spatial and seasonal restrictions on fishing efforts can be advocated in areas and seasons during whichhigh occurrence of bycatch was recorded. analyse and display the spatial data in marine fisheries (e.g. maps of fish location/catch, maps of landing ports/site), and associated attribute data (e.g. amount of catch, type of catch, discard quantity and sea surface temperature), and produce maps with all related data in graphics, text and table with spatially referenced information 4 .The multiple roles that GIS can perform in terms of visual output can positively help the decision makers. The other advantage of using GIS is the speed with which it handles the large variety of different types of source data 5. As pointed out by Harris and Weiner in the absence of sufficient data, public participation and their traditional knowledge could be used for GIS study known as Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS) and Participatory GIS (PGIS) 6. The spatio-temporal data on distribution and abundance based on geographic information will enable evolving policies for the improvement of the fishery in terms of restriction in fishing period, fishing pressure etc.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Traditional Knowledge; Geographic Information Systems; Marine Resources; Ratnagiri Coast; Maharashtra
    Subjects: Oceanography > Remote sensing
    Divisions: CMFRI-Mumbai
    Depositing User: Arun Surendran
    Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 05:11
    Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 05:11

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