Amid rains and choppy seas, Goa’s traditional fishermen rely on casting net or ‘paghel’

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Nauxi: Traditional fishermen in Goa are relying on the casting net, called ‘paghel’ locally, to ply their trade as monsoon rains and winds as well as choppy seas make the deployment of canoes impossible.

Though the fishing ban during this season does not apply to them, several traditional fishermen said the sea was not conducive for fishing at the moment and the wait for calmer seas will go on till August.

The casting net, also called a throw net, is a circular net with small weights around its edge.
“We can’t wait for the sea to calm down. The traditional and safe methods of fishing comes handy for us during this time,” said Sanjay Pereira, a fisherman from Nauxi village, on the outskirts of Panaji.
“We cannot use the gill net during the monsoon. We catch fish using casting net and it is enough to feed our families. If the stock is good, we sell some of it,” he said.

His colleague Yogesh Mangueshkar, who ventures into the sea during fair weather with a canoe, also uses the casting net, though he rued that not many know how to use it effectively.
“The fishing business has been taken over by mechanized trawlers. The number of Goans in this industry is also reducing,” Mangueshkar said.
Pereira said the state fisheries department was not encouraging them enough, due to which revenue from the business was dipping.

“The government should help traditional fishermen as they have been continuing with this profession for centuries. Even my future generations will take up fishing,” he said.

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