52-day trawling ban off Kerala coast from June 9

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has decided to impose trawling ban off the Kerala coast from June 9 midnight. The 52-day annual trawling ban will continue till the midnight of July 31.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian on Friday.

The ban, which is imposed every year during the monsoon season to ensure the prosperity of the marine stock, prohibits fishing by trawling off the Kerala coast during the period. During the said time period, mechanised fishing boats will not be allowed to venture into the sea and carry on fishing.

The ban has also been enforced taking into account the spawning season of a wide variety of fishes.

Trade union leaders, district collectors, district police chiefs, and chief of coastal police along with officials from Marine Enforcement, Coast Guard, Navy, Fisheries and Civil Supplies, attended the meeting.

The government has authorised district collectors to call a meeting of trade union leaders and concerned departments in the sector to ensure the proper implementation of trawling ban in those sectors.

The minister has also directed district collectors to order boats from other states to leave the coast before the ban takes effect.

By the evening of June 9, the Marine Enforcement and Coastal Police must ensure that all trawlers have been moved to safe locations. Strict legal action will be taken against boats that violate the ban, the minister said.

Aid for fishermen

In the meeting, the government has assured the leaders that the distribution of free rations to the fishermen working on the trawling boat and the allied workers who depend on them for their livelihood would be intensified during trawling ban.

Traditional fishing vessels allowed

Neendakara Harbour in Kollam district will be opened to all traditional fishing vessels except inboard boats during the trawling ban, Cherian said.

During the period, diesel bunks operating in harbours and fish landing centres will remain closed, but selected Matsyafed bunks in the respective districts will be allowed to operate for inboard crafts.

Fishers have been asked to take all safety measures and keep biometric ID, Aadhar card, and life jacket while venturing into the sea. All boats should follow the colour-coding norms and boats that are not colour-coded should complete the process during the ban period.

Only one carrier boat will be allowed along with inboard vessels during the ban period.

Coordinated rescue operations

The Fisheries Department, Marine Enforcement and the Coastal Police have been asked to work in coordination if rescue operations are needed. District police chiefs have been asked to take steps to deploy extra force as per the requirement of Marine Enforcement and district fisheries officers during the period.

The government has also asked the Navy and the Coast Guard to stay prepared to carry out rescue operations in emergency situations.

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