Agri Business

'Deep sea fishing policies in India flawed; aquarian reforms needed'

Ch R S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 24, 2018

Deep sea fishing policies in India are basically flawed and aquarian reforms are required for building a fisheries sector which is just, participatory, sustainable and self-reliant, according to John Kurien, expert on fisheries.

He was delivering a lecture here on Thursday at a seminar organised by the All-India Fishers and Fisheries Workers' Federation (AFFWF) on the Meena Kumari Committee recommendations on deep sea fishing.

Kurien remarked that "it is necessary in the first place to understand the differences in the fisheries resources in the tropical zone and in the temperate zone to gain an insight into why the fisheries technologies in the West may not be suitable to India. Active technologies such as trawling will ruin the fisheries resources in the tropical zone, especially in countries like India, and lead to all sorts of ecological imbalances besides hitting the livelihood of traditional fishermen."

He said that in studies commissioned by the Government it was found that bulk of the fisheries resources were concentrated in the territorial waters and hardly seven per cent of the resources were in the deep sea. Again, of the seven per cent, only four per cent is high value resource such as tuna fish.

Therefore, he argued, it would not be profitable for foreign trawlers or LoP vessels to fish in the deep sea and they should not be allowed into Indian waters. Besides, the traditional fishermen had the capacity to exploit the resource even in deep sea.

Kurien said the Meena Kumari committee report contains "a fine analysis of the Indian fisheries sector, but the conclusions are wrong. Obviously, certain pressures were working on the committee to make such recommendations."

He said the Government of India order issued by joint secretary, Vundru, in November 2014 is more harmful than the committee report. The LoP vessels should not be allowed into Indian waters, he said.

Several other speakers spoke in the same vein and condemned the Meena Kumari committee report and the Vundru order.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

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Published on June 18, 2015
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