It's a victory: association president

The annual conservation period began on Thursday with fishermen expressing satisfaction over conceding of their demand to reduce the periodicity from 62 to 47 days.

“The reduction in the period is a big victory for all of us, as we had opposed strongly the imposition of ban for 62 days in East Coast and 47 days in West Coast for past two years,” Association of Indian Fishery Industries president Y.G.K. Murty told The Hindu.

Content of GO

As per the GO issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, there will be uniform ban on fishing by all fishing vessels in Exclusive Economic Zone beyond territorial waters on East Coast, including Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the West Coast, including Lakshadweep.

As per MoA, the ban is from April 15 to May 31 in East Coast and June 15 to July 31 in West Coast.

The ban was introduced a decade and half ago by fisher community due to their own initiative to arrest dwindling number of shrimp and other fishes. Indiscriminate fishing led to fast depletion in fish population.

Dolphin Boat Operators' Welfare Association and AP Mechanised Boat Operators' Association expressed happiness over the revival of uniform ban.

“We are very happy that the authorities have heard our pleas preventing fishermen from defying the ban had it been 62 again,” said Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, president of Dolphin Boat Operators' Welfare Association.

Visakhapatnam is considered Mecca for marine food industry. About 600 mechanised boats, 100 beach landing crafts and 100 trawlers and mini trawlers are operated from Visakhapatnam. The shrimp exported from here to other places during 2009-10 fell down to 6,000 tonne from 8,500 tonne the previous year.

Similarly, fish product export also came down to around 52,000 tonne last fiscal from 55,000 tonne the previous year.

“The fall in exports is due to change in climate like current orientation and aggressive fishing by foreign vessels which are misusing letters of permits,” Dr. Murty said.

The mechanised boat operators have sent SoS to the government seeking relief during ban period on the lines of Puducherry which gives 100 kg rice and Rs.750 per worker who is rendered jobless during the ban.

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