Kerala

Trawling ban to take effect from June 9 midnight

Trawling ban is part of measures being undertaken to conserve marine fisheries resources during the monsoon.

Trawling ban is part of measures being undertaken to conserve marine fisheries resources during the monsoon. | Photo Credit: VIBHU H.

The Fisheries department has decided to impose the annual trawling ban between the midnight of June 9 and July 31.

The 52-day ban is part of measures being undertaken to conserve marine fisheries resources during the monsoon, which is considered the spawning period for the commercially important fish species off the coast of Kerala, that include oil sardines. The decision was taken at a meeting of fisheries stakeholders with officials in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

While the ban is applicable to trawlers, traditional boats are exempted from its purview. All fuel supply bunkers for trawling boats will shut down on June 9, Fisheries department sources said. They added that the coastal police and Fisheries officials would be vigilant against violation of trawling ban.

It is estimated that there are around 8,000 traditional canoes and nearly 4,000 mechanised boats operating off the coast of Kerala. Fisheries industry sources pointed out that around 300 of the mechanised vessels had been scrapped over the past few years for various reasons, including lack of profitability triggered by fish scarcity.

Big boat owners were not in favour of a ban on trawling at least for this season considering the loss of around 100 days of fishing days last year owing to weather warnings and pandemic curbs. But traditional fishers’ unions had demanded an extended period of ban to conserve resources. The unions are of the view that the ban should be extended to 90 days.

Trawling ban has been in effect since 1988, when it was introduced on the recommendations of the Balakrishnan Nair Committee, which studied the impact of trawling on marine fish resources.

It is estimated that the mechanised sector, including trawlers, account for around 70% of fish landings, while the rest is accounted for by the traditional sector, which is basically artisanal fishing. Oil sardines once dominated fish landings in the past, but Indian mackerels, lesser sardines, threadfin breams, and shrimps have been landing in bigger volumes in recent years.


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Printable version | May 29, 2022 12:34:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/trawling-ban-to-take-effect-from-june-9-midnight/article65470116.ece