National

Registration delay keeps trawlers off fishing in AP

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on June 02, 2013

Boat operators want Aadhaar cards to be accepted as proofs of identity

The State fisheries department’s delay in issuing biometric cards and online registrations has resulted in some trawlers idling at the harbour. Fishing resumed on Saturday, after the completion of the 45-day mandatory conservation period.

According to industry sources, the procedural delay by the State Fisheries Department is hampering fishing. As a result, 29 trawlers are held up in the fishing harbour here.

The Centre directed the States to adhere to uniform unique colour code, biometric cards and online registration to strengthen coastal security in view of terrorist threats.

The nine maritime States and four Union Territories were given different unique colour codes to facilitate easy identification of the boats by the Navy, Coast Guard and Maritime Police. Accordingly, yellow was allotted for fishing vessels in Andhra Pradesh.

Missing particulars

The Merchant Shipping Act stipulates that all fishing boats less than 20-m long shall have unique online single registration by the authorised Registrar of Fishing Boats as published through gazette notification by the Ministry of Shipping.

The Fisheries Development Officer is the authorised registrar for registration of fishing boats in Visakhapatnam.

Industry sources said the Fisheries Development Officer had received around 1,450 applications from mechanised and non-mechanised boats.

Compensation

Even some of the online registration certificates issued so far were not in order, containing all particulars of the vessel and the owner.

Association of Indian Fisheries Industry President Y. G. K. Murti said: “Unfortunately, the online registration for some of the pending applications was not completed by the Fisheries Department and 29 fishing boats, belonging to our association, are held up in the fishing harbour.”

He said though the ban period was over, they were unable to send their boats for fishing due to the reason. He demanded that the loss be compensated by the Government.

As there is not much progress in issuing uniform biometric cards, the boat operators are seeking acceptance of Aadhaar cards as unique identity cards.

As of now, not even 30 per cent of fishermen have been given biometric cards.

“We urge the authorities to accept Aadhaar, voter’s identity card or driving licence as identity proof till issuance of biometric cards,” said Dolphin Boat Operators’ Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy.

>sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 02, 2013

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