All the police stations along the coastal region have been put on alert to prevent untoward incidents during the trawling ban, writes Anand Haridas

The 45-day ban on trawling is tension time in coastal areas, especially for those active in the fishing industry. Agencies of law are busy gearing up to meet waves of turbulence.

"Munambam is the only spot in our area that could have problem. Additional men are being posted there," said K. Padmakumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ernakulam Range. All the police stations along the coastal region have been put on alert to face the emerging situation. The ban on trawling comes into effect from the midnight of June 15. "The role of the police will mostly be to book offenders, found violating the ban, brought in by the Marine Enforcement wing of the Department of Fisheries," Mr. Padmakumar said.

On its part, the Marine Enforcement is busy deploying additional men along the five base stations it has at Vizhinjam, Neendakara, Vypeen, Beypore and Kannur. "The sensitive area is Neendakara in Kollam, where troubles were reported a couple of years back," said K.E. Joy, Superintendent of Police, Marine Enforcement.

The force is bringing in 14 more boats to reinforce its patrolling strength across the State, of which two will be berthed in Kochi.

All the stations have been equipped with wireless communication and a 24-hour control room has been set up for the season.

"Kochi has been more or less peaceful during the season in previous years. We will be patrolling the harbour mouth to prevent trawling boats from going out to the sea. At Neendakara, the practice is to put a chain across the harbour mouth to check boats leaving the harbour," said Mr. Joy.

A boat will be deployed at Munambam from Friday onwards for rescue as well as patrolling purposes.

"We have requested the Coast Guard to monitor and prevent foreign trawlers from operating in our waters," he said.