Kerala government on Tuesday made it clear it was not in favour of banning fishing near vital installations, including the LNG terminal along the Kochi coast.

“The Navy has not asked for a ban on fishing activities in these areas. They asked for surveillance and monitoring of activities. There is no ban and the state also does not intend to issue such an order,” Minister for Fisheries and Ports K Babu told the assembly today.

He was replying to a calling attention of S Sarma (CPI-M), who alleged there was an unannounced ban on fishing, which had put local fishermen to great difficulties.

Sarma said the Navy had sought a ban on fishing for about four km radius in and around vital installations of Kochi.

None was against development or security aspects, but it should not affect fishermen and their livelihood, he said.

Babu said the process of issuing biometric identity cards for fishermen in that area was in progress and pointed out that security agencies had only asked the state to issue ID cards to fishermen.

However, a ‘false propaganda’ was going on in Kochi that the ban had been imposed on security reasons. Considering the importance of the issue, a meeting of all concerned would be convened soon to sort the apprehensions of fishermen and clear their doubts, Babu said.

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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