Fisheries stakeholders’ meet in capital today

February 18, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:54 am IST - KOCHI:

A meeting of stakeholders in marine fisheries has been convened by Minister for Fisheries K. Babu in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday ahead of the State government submitting its views to the committee appointed by the Union government to draw up a national marine fisheries policy.

The State government had told the central committee on Monday that it would consult the stakeholders in the State and submit its view within 10 days.

The meeting was attended by senior Fisheries Department officials from nine maritime States and two Union Territories.

The central committee is headed by Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research S. Ayappan.

Foreign vessels

The first draft of the national marine fisheries policy has hinted at ending the Letter of Permit raj in which foreign vessels were issued permits to operate in deep seas off the Indian coast. There has been constant objection against the practice and fishermen are hopeful that the new policy would completely end the practice. The marine fishermen community and boat operators have opposed the LoP regime and the State government is expected to take a similar stand officially.

Trade union sources said that the central committee received nearly 4,000 submissions to the queries it had posted online to elicit opinion from the fisheries stakeholders. Sources said that more than 80 per cent of the respondents expressed their opinion against allowing foreign vessels to operate in the seas off the Indian coast.

More than 90 per cent of them are learnt to have told the committee that Indian vessels and fishermen were capable of exploiting the deep sea resources.

Meeting ahead of submitting State’s views to Central panel on marine fisheries policy.

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