Hook, line and sinker | Addicted to Angling
Fish – Feni – Fun. The three words synonymous to this patch of paradise on the West Coast of our subcontinent. While droves from other parts of the country and world come here to partake in the latter two activities, the first has only the gastronomic delight aspect on everyone’s mind – the eating not the catching!
Quite a tragedy since the waters off our coast are still unpolluted and offer the angling enthusiast an interesting variety of catch.
Our neighbourhood has a passionate angler, Nasir Ibrahim Shaik, for whom this sport is not just a hobby but a full time profession.
Climb the three steps into Casa Ibrahim, a shop very few in Vasco do not know, and enter the world of angling. His refurbished store has glass fronted cupboards stocked with everything a fishing enthusiast could dream of – rods, reels, line, lures, flies and more.
Nasir had a passion for fishing from his very young childhood days. His parents used to then worry that he would have a mishap while scuttling over the rocky shores looking for the right place to cast his line. As he grew older their worries abated but his passion for angling burned with a fierce flame.
Schooling in Regina Mundi was followed by Mechanical Engineering studies at the Govt Polytechnic, Altinho, Panaji. However his Diploma studies had to be discontinued due to the sudden demise of his father that then required him to take over the family business.
While they were traditionally in the fishing supplies business – this was more to meet the need of commercial fishing industry. Nasir then found an old rod with reel and line on a dusty upper shelf of his shop. He had no idea how to use it. But that was the beginning of his passionate involvement with angling as a sport. A couple of years later a supplier of imported Japanese fishing tackle from Nagapatinam came to the shop and showed him a catalogue. Nasir ordered some items out of sheer interest as there was no real market for such items then. Another prominent son of our neighbourhood, the late Noel Lima Leitao, who was also interested in this sport, then mentored the young Nasir in the nuances of importing products and introduced him to Mr. F.D. D’Cruz, the then Dy Dir. Foreign Trade at Panaji.
With the opening up of the Indian economy and easy import procedures, Nasir plunged into the world of fishing tackle with gusto. A letter to the Japanese supplier (hard copy by snail mail – no internet then!) got a prompt response. With assistance from Mr. Mario Furtado, Clearing Agent, Nasir was on the way to being a serious importer of these equipments. Today Nasir imports about 3 to 5 CBM per consignment and supplies fishing tackle to shops in Goa, Karwar and other adjacent coastal areas.
Talk about angling and Nasir is bursting with ideas that can make this a lucrative tourism promotion avenue. “Karnataka is now promoting Fishing Tourism on the Kaveri river” he observes. Complete with riverside cottages, and other facilities. Goa unfortunately has no such facility or organised promotion. All the jetties, wharfs and breakwaters, that can give anglers safe access to deep waters are out of bounds for the public and under heavy security procedures.
” The Tourism Development Corporation could identify suitable locations and construct fishing wharfs dedicated for anglers as has been done is several coastal locations abroad. Like bird watchers, passionate anglers would definitely come to experience fishing in our tropical waters,” Nasir averred. The Andamans has a company named Game Fishing India, that has many takers. “We should follow the models of countries like Australia, where this sport is well regulated to preserve the population of all species of fish. Places like Dubai have created artificial reefs by dumping old bus bodies and other such structures. These provide additional breeding spaces for fish. A ‘Catch and Release’ policy could also be implemented as done in many places. In fact some Japanese companies now manufacture special hooks without barbs for this purpose,” Nasir elaborates.
Nasir rues the fact that there is no Angling Association in Goa. He has also observed that the population of various varieties of fish has dwindled over the years due to intensive large net fishing. The organisations like MPT which have deep water jetties and breakwaters could give bona-fide anglers special passes to access these areas. Places like Mayem lake and other hinterland water bodies as well as dam waters could be developed for fishing says Nasir. There is such a facility with cottages in the Powai lake in Mumbai where fish are even bred in the lake for this purpose, he informs.
This is a non polluting, eco-friendly, healthy outdoor sport that has the potential to add a significant fillip to the tourism inflow of this state. It could also have a cascading effect in providing business for fishing equipment suppliers and other associated activities.
The possibilities are as large and deep as the bluest oceans!
Contact Nasir on 9822127186 or walk into Casa Ibrahim for equipment, advice and more regarding angling.