Government will Oppose Uniform Fishing Ban
KOCHI: The State Government will strongly oppose the Central Government’s decision to impose uniform fishing ban, and will not implement the ban up to 12 nautical miles off the coast that comes under the jurisdiction of the State, said Fisheries and Ports Minister K Babu.
“The idea of uniform fishing ban itself is erroneous, and does not suit the varied climatic and environment conditions prevailing in the subcontinent,” the Minister told ‘Express’. “The State Government will not implement the uniform ban in any case. Up to 12 nautical miles, the State Government is in command, and we will not allow the ban to be imposed in that area,” he said, raising questions about ‘federal jurisprudence’.
“We had opposed the uniform fishing ban when it was mooted, and will continue to take up the issue in the coming days. We had registered strong reservation over the move at a meeting of fisheries ministers convened by the Central Government.
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A memorandum signed by Dr Raja Shekhar Vundru, joint secretary to the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, had advised to implement uniform fishing ban up to 12 nautical miles - as it was done in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ - 12 to 200 nautical miles) - adjacent to the territorial waters of states. The memorandum notified that if the states/union territories are imposing the ban at different periods, the governments concerned should ensure that fishing boats do not enter the Exclusive Economic Zoneor the territorial waters of other states.
“Also, states that prefer to implement fishing ban for less than 61 days, which is the period proposed by the Central Government, are advised to complete the 61-day ban period in their respective areas gradually, within five years, to ensure uniformity,” the memorandum stated.
No Central Law on Ban
Babu pointed out that there was no Central law in place to implement the ban. “The State Government will consult the stakeholders, including organisations working in the fisheries sector, to chalk out the future course of action. A meeting of the organisations in the fisheries sector was convened at 3:00 pm on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss the issues,” the Minister added.