Centre modifies uniform fishing ban order


Traditional boats can operate in EEZ

The Union Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries has modified its order imposing a uniform 61-day fishing ban, applicable to all sorts of vessels, off the east and west coasts of India to allow traditional, non-mechanised boats to operate in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters.

However, fishermen have made light of the order, and said that no substantial change has been brought about by it.

The latest order is tantamount to “rubbing salt into our wounds,” Charles George of the Fisheries Coordination Committee said here on Wednesday.

Sources with knowledge of the marine fisheries industry said the traditional, non-mechanised sector accounted for just about 2 per cent of the total fish landings in the country, and the new order virtually made no difference to the situation created by the earlier order.

The department had issued an order on April 10 imposing a total ban of 61 days on all fishing vessels in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone beyond territorial waters. The ban was to be effective on the west coast, including Lakshadweep Islands, between June 1 and July 31. On the east coast, it was to be effective from April 15 to June 14.

However, fishermen in Kerala have defied the order, and have been venturing out in normal numbers for fishing operations in the waters, which are under the purview of even the present order.

The traditional mechanised sector has demanded that the Union government recognise their right to fish to make a living.

The State government has repeatedly said that it wanted to stick to the State-imposed 47-day ban starting on the midnight of June 14. Fisheries Minister K. Babu had said that the State government had no intention of entering into a confrontation with the Union government. Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has convened a meeting of Chief Ministers of coastal States on the issue.

Figures recently released by the Fisheries Resources Assessment Division of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said that marine fish landings in the country stood at an estimated 3.59 million tonnes during 2014, down 5 per cent from 2013.

Fishermen make light of the order

Say it virtually makes no difference to situation created by April order

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 1:46:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/centre-modifies-uniform-fishing-ban-order/article7280215.ece

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