Kerala fishing boat owners urge govt. to lift ban

They allege that Tamil Nadu fishers are enjoying benefits after the end of trawling ban

August 10, 2020 08:05 pm | Updated 08:06 pm IST - KOCHI

The Kerala Fishing Boat Operators’ Association has said that while the Kerala government was not lifting the ban on trawling on account of safety issues, Tamil Nadu fishers were enjoying the benefits of the rich resources in the sea after the trawling ban.

Association president Peter Mathias and secretary Joseph Xavier Kalapurackal said the State government should allow fishers from Kerala to venture out into the sea at the earliest because the safety warnings from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had been about wind speeds that were only normal during the monsoon season and should not be a bother for the fishermen.

While the Kerala fishermen are being held ashore, their counterparts from Tamil Nadu have been going out without any hindrance to their fishing grounds and making best of the opportunities immediately after the trawling ban period.

Fishermen from Tamil Nadu have recorded rewarding expeditions so far with some of the boats recording catch up to ₹25 lakh per fishing voyage during the current season. At the same time, the authorities in Kerala are keeping the fishermen of the State from going out in the name of safety. It was a case in which the wind was considered dangerous for Kerala fishermen while it was not for Tamil Nadu fishermen, alleged Mr. Kalapurackal on Monday, while appealing to the government to lift the ban at the earliest.

There are around 3,600 fishing boats operating from Kerala, employing nearly 55,000 people directly. The trawling activities generate about one lakh days of work during the peak season, with each of the employees getting wages of about ₹1,000 per day. There was about ₹100 crore worth of fish landings during the peak season that began immediately after the trawling ban ended, he said.

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