With the trawling ban coming into force in the state from Friday midnight, the Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement personnel are busy gearing up to meet the waves of turbulence. The coastal police have completed the repair work of the boats and the Marine Enforcement Wing under the Fisheries Department will hire two boats for enforcement activities this year.
According to K C Hariharan, Circle Inspector, Coastal Police, Kochi, preparations have been made for the trawling season and boat owners, given notice about the rules to be followed during the 47-day ban. The Coastal Police will also open a control room at Coastal Police Station in Fort Kochi. “One of the main advantages this year is that policemen trained by Coast Guard have been deputed at the control room. The control room will operate round the clock with well-trained policemen aged under 35 years. It has been equipped with night surveillance device, signal unit and wireless unit. We have spoken to the Navy and Coast Guard on seeking assistance for rescue operations,” K C Hariharan said.
The Coastal Police have appointed 16 persons who have served in Coast Guard and Navy for assisting in rescue operations. They would operate the boats of the Coastal Police.
The two main fast boats have been repaired for operations and three boats with Marine Enforcement Wing will conduct patrol. The area from Chellanam to Munambam are under Kochi Coastal Police jurisdiction while the Marine Enforcement Wing covers the zone from Andhakaranazhi in Alappuzha district to Munambam. Patrolling will be carried out 12 nautical miles off the coast.
K C Hariharan said the boat owners in Kochi usually adhere to the trawling ban and violations are rare.
K M Sajeev, Circle Inspector, Marine Enforcement said that two of the three boats were taken on rent. “The boats have advanced technology and we have received 10 additional policemen for enforcement activities,” he said.
However, one of the major concerns of the enforcement agencies is the rescue operation during rough weather and high tide. Last year, the Marine Enforcement Wing had conducted rescue operations 33 times during the 47-day ban. “Rescue operations are a risky affair during the monsoon. In 2011, we rescued more than 600 persons. The sea guards are trained in carrying out high risk operations,” he said.