KOCHI:The annual trawling ban began at midnight on Sunday, with the State Fisheries Department making all the preparations to enforce the ban in coordination with various agencies, including the Marine Enforcement Wing, Coastal Police, Coast Guard and the Navy.
The fisherfolk who brought back their trawl boats to the yards at midnight will now be busy repairing the boats and gears in the next 47 days.
Director of Fisheries Mini Antony told ‘Express’ that preparations were in place to enforce the ban, and that fisheries assistant directors were appointed as nodal officers to implement the ban in their respective regions.
“As much as nine boats have been deployed in the coastal districts, with Neendakara in Kollam having an additional boat, for monitoring the ban and conducting rescue operations. Nodal officers have been authorised to rent more boats, if necessary,” she said.
“District Collectors have been ordered to submit proposals on providing free ‘ration’ to families of the fisherfolk. The Fisheries Department will release the funds once the district officials finalise the list of beneficiaries,” she said.
The first instalment of the compensatory financial assistance will be released to the fisherfolk immediately. The beneficiaries will get Rs 2,700 each in the phase-I, after the government approves the proposal next week,” she added.
Also, additional police personnel have been deployed at the 187 fish landing centres dotting the State’s coastline, in order to assist the Fisheries Department during the ban period.
“Apart from the services of the Marine Enforcement Wing, we have requested the service of 10 additional police personnel in the district,” said Saji T, assistant director at the fisheries station at Vypeen. “Three boats have been deployed for patrolling and rescue operations, of which two boats will be stationed at Vypeen and the other at Munambam” Saji added.