KOCHI: Even as the fishing community has launched a raging protest against recommendations of the Meenakumari Commission, the fisherfolk is readying for another war - against a Central Government’s move to impose total and uniform fishing ban in the coastal belt, from Gujarat to Kanyakumari. According to a notification signed by Dr Raja Shekhar Vundru, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, a uniform ban on all the fishing vessels in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), beyond the territorial waters in the East Coast including Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the West Coast including Lakshadweep Island, will be imposed with the aim of conserving and managing fishery resources.
The notification issued on April 10 says that sea safety concerns were also behind the ban, which will be imposed in the West Coast from June 1 to July 31, and in the East Coast from April 15 to June 14. The ban is applicable to fishing activities within 12-200 nautical miles. The notification also directs the Coast Guard to implement the ban in the EEZ.
National Fish Workers Forum national secretary T Peter deplored the ban, saying it was an intrusion into the rights of the fishing community here. He also alleged a conspiracy behind the move, and urged the State Government to send a delegation to the Centre demanding revocation of the ban order.