KOCHI: A meeting convened by Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma on Monday decided to impose trawl ban in the state’s coastal sea for 52 days from June 9 midnight. The state had been imposing 47-day trawl ban during the monsoon season from 1994 onwards.
However, in 2018, the ban period was extended to 52 days. Though the representatives of traditional fishermen union demanded to increase the ban period to 60 days, the meeting decided to continue with the present regulation.
The minister directed respective district collectors to convene a meeting of boat owners, fishermen representatives and officers on May 20 and 30 and convey the decision to all stakeholders. All mechanised fishing boats that venture into the sea should return to the coast by June 8 and other state boats should leave Kerala coast by June 9. The collectors should ensure the closure of the fuel stations located near the harbour before the beginning of the pan period, the minister said.
The meeting also decided to utilise the services of the fishermen who have been provided lifeguard training to rescue fishermen in distress during the monsoon. The meeting decided to issue biometric identity cards to the fishermen.
Fishermen even should carry the cards and produce it in front of the enforcement agencies. The cards will be issued to all 1,87,000 fishermen in a bid to ensure coastal security. The decision has been taken in view of the increased threat following terror attack in Sri Lanka. The minister urged the fishermen and mechanised boats to strictly follow the restrictions on capture of fish under the minimum legal size (MLS).