The government has formed an expert committee with the Additional Chief Secretary P. Prabhakaran as chairman to study the possible impact of the ASEAN free trade agreement in the fisheries sector of Kerala.

The committee will study various aspects of the agreement, especially the fish and fish products that could be imported into the country under the agreement and its consequence to the fisheries sector of the State. It would examine how the agreement would affect the livelihoods of fishermen and propose steps to protect the sector from the impact, an official release said.

Member of the Planning Board K.N. Harilal, Dean of Fisheries College Mohanakumaran Nair, Director of School of Industrial Fisheries B. Madhusoodana Kurup, Principal Scientist of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute G.K. Pillai, Principal Scientist of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology B. Bhoopendranath, Head of the Economics Department of Perambra Government College T.P. Kunhikannan, D. Sanjeeva Ghosh and K.S. Purushan will be the expert members of the committee. Trade union leaders V.V. Saseendran, A.P. Jayaseelan, A.K. Bava, V. Dinakaran, T. Peter and Charles George will also be members of the committee. Director of Fisheries P.I. Sheik Pareed will be the member secretary.

The Committee has been asked to submit its report in a month, the release said.

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