Fishing bandh today

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Perturbed over move to curtail their freedom to fish in Exclusive Economic Zone by the government through a new legislation, the fishing industry will observe a nation-wide fishing bandh on Thursday.

Traditional and mechanised boats and trawlers will not venture into the sea to register their protest against Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill, 2009 in response to a call by the Federation of Indian Fishery Industries (AIFI) and Federation of Indian Fishery Industries (FIFI).

AP Mechanised Boat Operators’ Association president P.Ch. Appa Rao and Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association general secretary Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy extended their support to the bandh and said the new legislation would deprive them of their right to fish in EEZ.

EEZ is located within 12 to 200 nautical miles from the shore. Territorial water is within 12 nautical miles and beyond 200 nautical miles, it is considered international waters.

As per the new legislation, licence is a must to fish in EEZ and the government will decide where to fish and what to fish. Fishermen feel that this is an infringement of their right to fish wherever they want.

FIFI president Y.G.K. Murty and AIFI honorary secretary D. Babu Rao told reporters on Wednesday that the new legislation was aimed at favouring Letter of Permit (LoP) vessels. They said the LoP vessels were being run by foreign owners by floating an Indian company with some Indian partners.

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