The Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation has opposed the proposed division of the trawling ban period.

Federation State president P.P. John told mediaperson here on Tuesday that the recommendation to split the ban period of 60 days between June-July and November-December was unacceptable. “The organisation remains firm on implementing the trawling ban for 90 days during the monsoon season. The proposed division will ultimately be diluted to result in a mere 17-day ban during the monsoon, which is the spawning period of several fish species, and a ban for 30 days during October-November. The reports of 12 expert committees in the past have proved that the trawling ban would be effective only during the June-July period,” he said.

The organisation was firmly against the practice of ‘pelagic trawling’ as it affected the livelihood of a large number of fishermen.

The federation demanded the inclusion of sea erosion under the natural calamities category. The Central government must be willing to provide compensations to those affected in the region.

Central team’s visit

The organisation was critical of the move of the Central team, instituted to assess losses, to restrict its visit to areas other than the coastal belt.

Mr. John criticised the alleged apathy of the State government towards the problems faced by coastal residents. He demanded the construction of sea walls with breakwaters in areas vulnerable to sea erosion.

They also alleged that attempts were being made to scuttle the Coastal Regulation Zone norms. “The sections which were against the implementation of the recommendations for conservation of the Western Ghats are behind the move. Such attempts are intended to promote the interests of private entities for tourism purposes,” they said.

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