Project for plastic-free sea

July 23, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:08 am IST - KOLLAM

Minister opens Suchitwa Sagaram

The government will not permit large-scale destructive methods of fishing being carried out under the label of traditional fishing, said Minister for Fisheries J. Mercykuttty Amma here on Saturday.

“The government intends to wipe out the menace by introducing strong restrictions very soon,” she said. The annual fish-landings of the State that stood at 7 lakh tonnes once had now dropped to 5 lakh tonnes. Destructive fishing methods had contributed to the fall and the government would strongly enforce the existing rules and announce new rules.

The Minister was addressing a gathering here on Saturday after launching the ambitious Suchitwa Sagaram project of the Kollam District Fishing Boat Operators Association. Under the project, the mechanised fishing sector based here would not only stop dumping plastic waste into the sea but also collect and bring back to the shore all plastic materials that got entangled in the nets while fishing.

The project should be extended to all the 24 fishing harbours of the State and also become a model for the country, she said, adding that the Suchitwa Mission would be part of the endeavour, she said.

Recycling unit

The Minister said the Harbour Department would allocate a portion in the Neendakara harbour for operating a unit managed by the Suchitwa Mission for segregation of the collected waste for for recycling. The unit would be formally inaugurated on August 1, end of the annual ban on monsoon trawling.

She said the Central government’s Marine Fishing Policy was harmful to the interests of the Indian fishing sector since it opened up the Indian waters for foreign corporate. The State government had raised strong objections to it and it was expected that suitable amendments would be made.

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