Consultation process launched afresh on marine fisheries policy

April 15, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:44 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

After a lull over murmurs of protest by the fishermen outfits over the decision not to include them in the committee to draft the new marine fisheries policy, a fresh exercise has been launched to resume the consultation process.

Indications have also been given that representatives from the industry will be included in the committee shortly. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh after receiving representations from National Fishworkers’ Union and other outfits in New Delhi on March 10 gave an assurance that they would not take any decision in a hurry.

Later, there were indications that due to elections in the States of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Asom, and Puducherry, the government wanted to make consultation process more effective by taking the stakeholders into confidence.

At a meeting held here on Wednesday at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, the second after a similar interactive session on February 11, many wanted a ban on bottom trawling and the use of ring nets by a group of fishermen on the shoreline to prevent juvenile fishing.

Bottom trawling is an industrial fishing wherein large nets with heavy weights are spread along the sea floor to drag shrimp and other high value fish but in the process kill several unwanted fish.

“The thrust of the talk on the policy-formulation is to ensure sustainable fishing and improve the livelihood conditions of fishers,” an official said.

CMFRI Principal Scientist Shubhadeep Ghosh, Joint Director of Fisheries Koteswara Rao and Central Institute of Fisheries Technology Principal Scientist U. Sreedhar were present.

An interactive session held in February sought a ban on bottom trawling

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