KOZHIKODE: In a bid to enforce trawling ban in a more stringent manner and to control unlawful fishing, the Department of Fisheries will make registration mandatory for all the country boats with on board and outboard engines.
Although registration was made mandatory earlier, it has not been strictly enforced till now. Officials said that the rule would become effective from August 1 and and all boat owners would have to produce the documents during inspections. The department, as part of tightening the rules, has already issued circulars to all departments concerned and to communicate the same to the fisherfolk. The owners of unregistered boats will be given time till July 31 to finish the registration process.
From next month onwards, fishermen will have to produce identity cards, along with the registration details, during the surprise checks. On failing to produce the documents, the boats will be taken into custody and will be released only after verifying documents.
Sources said that by enforcing the rule, the Fisheries Department plans to renew the registration of expired licenses also.
“Many fishers are currently operating unregistered boats. The fitness of such boats are a cause for concern and the boats will undergo thorough examination during the registration process,” said a source, adding that the allotment of kerosene will also be based on the registration details.
As per the statistics, there are around 30,000 fishermen working in the sector using registered and unregistered boats for their livelihood.
The official figures also states that there are 524 mechanised boats, 103 in-board engine fitted country boats and 3,097 out-board engine - fitted country boats. The number of other - engine fitted country boats is 129.