THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Extending its support to the fisherfolk, the state government has decided to allow the fishermen to operate within 12 nautical miles (NM) till June 15, the day when the trawling ban will come into effect in the state. The state government has decided to stick to its 45-day trawling ban instead of the 61-day trawling ban imposed by the Centre.
“The state has absolute authority up to 12 nautical miles. Trawling ban will only come into effect from June 15 in the state,’’ Fisheries Minister K Babu said after a high-level meeting here.
Stating that the government would ensure the safety of fishermen, Babu demanded that the Centre reconsider its decision on the 61-day ban. He also said that traditional fishermen had been exempted during the trawling ban period within the 12 nautical miles. The minister said the state was not for any confrontation with the Centre.
The government did not want any untoward incident to happen in the sea. Kerala had already protested against the Centre’s decision to impose uniform fishing ban for 61 days in the Exclusive Economic Zone from June 1 to July 31. Though the state had sought some relaxation, the Centre had denied that. In the previous years, the state had imposed trawling ban from June 14 to July 31.
During the ban period, an assistance of `2,700 and free ration would be provided to the fishermen.
All the officials had been asked to take steps in that regard, he said. Fisheries Principal secretary P Marapandian, Fisheries Director Mini Antony, the officials of the Coast Guard, police and Navy were present at the meeting.