Kerala, with its coastline of nearly 600 km, contributes about 20 per cent to the country's marine fish landings with nearly a quarter of the State's exports being accounted for by the marine sector.

Fishing provides a means of livelihood directly to more than a quarter of a million people in Kerala and more than half-a-million people live on allied activities like fish vending.

A study on the economic viability of mechanised fishing units and socio-economics of a fishing ban in Kerala by scientists from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University said that12 fishermen were active per square kilometre of coastal seas in Kerala against the national average of three.

The study also said that data over the last 40 years showed many of the marine fish species being overexploited.

Fishermen affirm that the dwindling fish catch caused by a combination of reasons ranging from drastic changes in climatic conditions to exploding size of fishing fleet operating off the coast of Kerala.

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