THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called upon the fishing community to initiate steps that could raise the fish production of the state. To regain the top spot in fish production, the government will initiate steps to promote scientific fish catching practice, Pinarayi said. He said this after inaugurating a programme organised by the Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd (Matsyafed) at Kanakakkunnu, here on Monday.
“The state was once at the top in fish production. But somehow we lost the spot. It is high time the fishing community took up the challenge to boost the fish production and thereby make the state a leading coastal state in fish production. For this the government with the help of various agencies will promote scientific catching practices among fishermen,” said Vijayan.
Earlier, the Chief Minister said the fisheries sector is facing a range of issues and the government is committed to addressing the same. According to him, some of the common problems being faced by the sector were issues in education and health sectors, unemployment, fisherfolks who were landless and homeless and others. The Chief Minister further said such issues would be addressed in a time-bound manner.
“This government is eager to address the grievances of the fishing community. It was part of that policy the State Budget set-aside an amount of Rs 2,000 crore for the development of the coastal areas. By 2021 the LDF government will ensure that there are no homeless citizens in our coastal areas,” said Pinarayi.
He also pointed out that considering complaints regarding the absence of an emergency mechanism for fishermen at sea, the Fisheries Department would soon commission three marine ambulances.
He also said the paper strip mechanism developed by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology for detecting chemically contaminated fishes will be promoted on a large scale. During the programme, the Chief Minister presented Ernakulam Kannamaly Yakheen Fishing Group with the Matsyasree Award for its exceptional performance during the 2017-18 financial year.
The CM also disbursed the insurance claim to the dependents of eight fishermen who lost their lives during Ockhi Cyclone. The Matsyafed also handed over an amount of Rs 8.58 lakh towards the CM’s Disaster Relief Fund.