KOCHI: The Central Government on Monday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the uniform fishing ban imposed by the Ministry was applicable to all the fishing vessels operating in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), beyond the territorial waters. The Central Government in a statement submitted that fishing ban had been imposed every year during the fish breeding season for conserving of the fish stock, and for ensuring sea safety during monsoon. Fishing ban in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone is imposed based on the advice of experts, in order to ensure the sustainable use and management of marine fishery resources.
The ban is imposed to safeguard the interests of the traditional fishermen community in the long term. “The country boats of traditional fishermen generally fish within 12 nautical miles in the territorial waters, which falls under the jurisdiction of the State. “The uniform fishing ban imposed by the Ministry is applicable in the Exclusive Economic Zone that is beyond 12 nautical miles, but not within the territorial waters. Hence, the livelihood of the traditional fishermen is not all affected,” stated the Centre. It further submitted that foreign fishing vessels were not allowed to fish in the Indian waters, including the EEZ, irrespective of ban.