KOCHI: The coastal waters off Kerala, up to the jurisdictional limit, should be declared Kerala Coastal Fisheries Management Area, recommends the expert committee which studied the trawling ban along Kerala coast.
‘’In the case of specific characteristic and unique fisheries, such as calm fisheries in an estuarine system or the artisanal fisheries off Thiruvananthapuram coast, specific management areas need to be set,’’ the committee suggested.
The committee also recommended that the state and Central governments should take necessary steps to correct the lack of rules and regulations in the area of sea from 12 to 200 nautical miles.
“Steps should be taken by the Government of Kerala to put pressure the Union Ministry of Agriculture and the Union Government to stop operation of LOP (foreign fishing vessels) in Indian waters. The apprehension of fishermen in the state over operation of LOP vessels should be communicated to the Union Government and fisheries resources in the ares of 12 to 200 nautical miles should be managed by the state government,’’ experts suggested.
The committee further recommends that the issuance of blanket licences to fishing vessels be stopped, and licenses be issued on the basis of the gear and the size of the mesh used in trawlers. “Necessary amendments in this regard should be made to the KMFR Act. The licence should be valid for two years and should be issued only after inspecting the vessel. Up to two licences could be issued to a registered fishing vessel for trawling and gill netting,” the experts suggested. It is also recommended that a provision for temporary cancellation of licences should be included in the KMFRA Act.
The committee, with Fisheries Department additional director Saira Banu as chairperson, included Central Marine Fisheries Institute (CMFRI) principal scientists K Sunil Mohammed and T V Sathianandan; P Pravin and M V Baiju of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT); Fisheries Department law officer Chandrasekharan Nair; and State Fisheries Resource Management Society (FIRMA) executive director P Sahadevan. Fisheries Department (Marine) deputy director Laila Devi was the convener and, Fisheries Department technical assistant P S Sivaprasad was the co-convener.