For the second year in a row, a uniform holiday also known as annual ban to facilitate conservation has been declared for fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone on both the East Coast and West Coast.
While the ban will be implemented on the East Coast, including Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar islands, from April 15 to June 14, it will come into effect on the West Coast, including Lakshadweep islands, from June 1 to July 31.
The number of mechanised boats being operated in Andhra Pradesh — which has a 974-km coastline, the second largest after Gujarat — from Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Kakinada, Kalingapatnam and other jetties is estimated at around 4,000.
Before introduction of extended ban period last year, it used to be for duration of 45 to 47 days. On the advice of an experts’ group constituted by the Ministry of Agriculture, it was decided to introduce a uniform ban to facilitate conservation following concern over dwindling catch.
The ban is not applicable to traditional fishermen who go on voyage in the territorial waters in their catamarans and other non-motorised vessels for short duration.
While welcoming the decision to repeat retain ban period, mechanised boat owners have sought steps to ensure implementation of uniform ban all over the East Coast. The Centre, while directing the maritime States and Union Territories to strictly enforce the conservation in the Exclusive Economic Zone (beyond 12 to 200 nautical miles), recommended the States to implement it in territorial waters (0-12 nautical miles). “Going by last year’s bitter experience when the ban was not fully enforced in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, we want steps this year to ensure success of annual ritual of observing the holiday fully in the larger interest of fishing community,” Association of Indian Fishery Industries president Y.G.K. Murti said on Thursday.
Over the past few years, the falling catch, industrial pollution, indiscriminate dumping of plastic material have led to fast depletion of catch putting a question mark over livelihood of thousands of fishermen.
AP Mechanised Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president P.C. Appa Rao and Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy appealed to the government to pay cash compensation at the rate of Rs. 200 per day to fishermen and others who would be rendered jobless during the period.
Plea to pay Rs. 200 per day to fishermen and others who will be rendered jobless