Following requests from fishermen of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, the State government has allowed them to return to sea on May 29 after a 45-day ban .
However, the ban will be in effect in other parts of the State. The fishermen of the three districts have been given an exemption as their livelihood was affected by the oil spill off Chennai in January, said Fisheries Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi.
From next year, fishermen in these districts too will follow the rest of the country and not fish for 61 days using boats with engines with 10 HP and above.
The ban was suggested by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute after the Central government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of its director to carry out studies and suggest reforms to be carried out in imposing uniform fishing ban in the country.
It had suggested that fishing ban be carried out from April 15 to June 14 in the east coast and from June 1 to July 31 in the west coast of the country. “From 2015 onwards Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are adopting the fishing ban period of 61 days. However, Tamil Nadu retained the 45-day ban. From next year, we will also get into the pattern suggested by the Government of India,” Mr. Bedi said.
Already this year, fishermen in Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts are following stipulated ban. Kanniyakumari district will follow the west coast pattern from June 1 to July 31 from 2018 onwards.
The 45-day ban was introduced in all the coastal districts in 2000 after a study by the Kochi-based Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in consultation with fishermen. Studies were made about the spawning of fish each month and the period that most spawning happens was fixed for different regions, explained E. Vivekanandan, consultant, CMFRI.