KOCHI: Even as the trawling ban completes a month, the Marine Enforcement Wing under the Fisheries Department has rescued 1,326 fishermen from the high seas across Kerala. However, Marine Enforcement officers claim rescue operations are low in number compared to previous years.
Marine Enforcement Wing plays a crucial role in imposing the trawling ban and carrying out rescue operation on the high seas. As many as 24 rescue operations were carried out in which 1,326 lives were saved. Two persons lost their lives and one is still missing.“Even though the rains were heavier compared to last year, the rescue operations were lower this year. Last year, around 20 rescue operations were carried out in Ernakulam district alone,”P K Sajeevan, DySP, Marine Enforcement said.
As far as violation of the trawling ban is concerned, there were around 6 cases registered till now. Sajeevan said, compared to the past several years, the number of trawling ban violations also have come down. “Now a majority of fishermen cooperate with the trawling ban. They realise the importance of the ban during the fish breeding season. The number of cases registered last year were low as well,” he said.
Apart from the Marine Enforcement Wing, the Coastal Police is also involved in rescue operations after accidents were reported on high seas. In each district, the Marine Enforcement Department is provided with additional persons for rescue operations.
Similarly, high capacity boats have been taken on lease for patrolling and rescue. In Ernakulam district alone, three boats have been taken on lease. The 47 days trawling ban will come to an end by the midnight of July 31. There has been demand for increasing the trawling ban period. Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation demand the trawling ban to be extended to 62 days.