The Indian region of Uttarak has overturned a two-year long ban on angling in a bid to save its tourism industry in the region.
The state has acted following the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit the tourism-dependent region hard and is one of several measures being taken to revive the sector. Fishing was banned, citing animal cruelty.
Angling is returning in eight rivers – the Sharda, Nayar, Ganga, Vyasghar, Tons, Dodital, Kosi and Kothari – on a catch and release basis. Fishing can now take place between sunrise and sunset from September 31 to May 31. In August last year the ban on fishing was revoked, but it has taken the Forest Department a year and three months to give the go-ahead for the sport to resume.
Those connected with the tourism sector have been approaching different authorities in the last two years to get the order revoked, claiming that it affected business. On multiple occasions, representatives of tourism groups met Forest Minister, Harak Singh Rawat, as well as Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat, to press their demand.
Tour operators have expressed relief at the move. Hari Maan, President of Corbett Hotels and Resorts Association, told the Times of India: ”Promoting tourism had become difficult ever since the fishing ban was introduced. The neighbouring Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir hadn’t banned angling, so tourists simply preferred visiting those areas.”