Fishing boat operators want trawling ban on west coast cut to 30 days

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on April 28, 2021

They also pointed out that the spiraling increase in diesel prices has put the sector into severe difficulties

Kerala’s mechanised fishing boat operators are keeping their fingers crossed over the ensuing 61-day monsoon trawling ban by the State Government along the west coast from June 1. They have sought a reduced period of the ban this year considering the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the All-Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association pointed out that the fishing sector in the State has faced untold miseries during the two stretches of the fishing ban last year, including that of the Covid related restrictions, leaving the community in abject poverty.

Now, the second wave of the pandemic is tightening its grip and people began to panic. Given such a situation, enlarging the period of the ban this year would push the fishing community into a further precarious position, said Joseph Xavier Kalapurackal, general secretary of the association.

He urged the Prime Minister to take a pragmatic decision in the monsoon trawling ban by reducing the number of days to 30 days. The already depleted financial stock of the fisher-folk would further weaken, if the ban in the current year continues for 61 days, he said and added that more than 3.5 lakh people are directly and indirectly engaged in the sector in meeting their livelihood.

According to the association, the spiraling increase in diesel prices has put the sector into severe difficulties with daily mounting expenses and an uncertainty in the catch. It can be mitigated, if fishing is permitted during the monsoon times when fish resources in the sea are available plenty, he said adding that the southern states of the country experience abundance of fish during the monsoon.

He said that global warming and erratic climate conditions have made a considerable reduction in fish resources, resulting in dwindling catches. The Covid related restrictions have also hit exports.

Quoting studies and reports, he said the imposition of a yearly monsoon ban is old and outdated. It is high time that new studies on the period of propagation, migration and other related issues of fish resources are undertaken with modern gadgets to ascertain the multiplication of species in the sea. There is no point in imposing the ban every year based on thumb rule theories, the association said.

Published on April 28, 2021

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