THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has reasons to cheer as the Union Government has directed all the coastal states in the country to implement the Suchitwa Sagaram (Clean Sea) project introduced by Kerala aimed at reducing plastic waste accumulation in the sea, a unique initiative that envisages cleaning the sea along with safeguarding the marine ecosystem that sustains their livelihoods of millions of fisherfolks.
According to the order issued by Tarun Shridhar, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Department of Fisheries, to achieve sustainable utilisation and management of marine fisheries as well as ensuring the sustainable utilisation of marine resources, the conference of the southern fisheries ministers held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi, in November, 2018, had suggested a slew of recommendations.
Based on the recommendations, the Union Ministry has issued an order advising all the maritime state governments to consider the implementation of the measures recommended by the conference. Out of the 16 recommendations, 15 were recommended to coastal states and almost all recommendations were the contribution of Kerala, according to Sahadevan, Joint Director, Fisheries.
Other recommendations included implementation of Minimum Legal Size (MLS) for capturing fish as recommended by CMFRI.
Strengthen fisherfolk cooperatives and equip them to undertake deep-sea resource specific fishing, plan and encourage them to undertake training programmes for deep-sea fishing being implemented by the department under Blue Revolution Scheme, and banning destructive fishing practices such as bull trawling/pair trawling and use of poisons, chemicals etc.
Restrict fishing based on Fish Aggregating Devices and use of LED lights for fishing except for squid jigging
Adopt measures to reduce fishing efforts such as use of mesh size for fishing nets as recommended by CIFT
Enforce adoption of square mesh at cod end of trawl nets following the recommendations of CIFT
Regulate fishing boat building yards and net manufacturing units by enforcing mandatory registration and licensing under MFRAs as already done by states like TN and Kerala