`TUs supporting foreign trawlers'

KOLLAM, APRIL 24. The Kollam District Fishing Boat Operators Association has said the ban on monsoon trawling for the past 15 years has only served to help foreign trawlers loot the marine wealth of the State. In a release here today, the association president, Joseph Bernard, and the secretary, M.S. James, said that the trade union leaders of traditional fishermen who were insisting that monsoon ban on trawling should continue were only supporting foreign trawlers to continue looting the marine wealth of the State.

They said it was only during the monsoon season that some highly valuable export-oriented catches were available. Such fish varieties could be caught only by trawling. These varieties vanish soon after the monsoon and it was such valuable wealth which was being looted by the foreign vessels, they alleged.

The trawling ban was imposed under the guise of augmenting the marine wealth as it was propagated that the monsoon season was the spawning season too. They, however, said that the authorities concerned should make it clear whether 15 years of ban on trawling during monsoon had in any way helped augment the marine wealth.

The association leaders said that it had been scientifically proved that monsoon ban on trawling had not in any way helped conserve the marine wealth.

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