Kerala was consulted on fishing ban: claims centre

Tuesday, May 12, 2015,20:08 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Refuting Rahul Gandhi’s charges, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today said the decision to extend the ban on fishing in high sea to 61 days from 47 days during monsoon was taken in consultation with all coastal states.
Stating that the ban was not a unilateral decision by the Centre, Singh said all coastal states including Kerala was consulted on the issue before arriving at a decision. Yesterday, the Congress Vice-president had accused the Narendra Modi government of going against the interests of fishermen in coastal states, saying a ban by the ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ was not allowing them to do fishing but foreign trawlers were allowed.
Rahul Gandhi does not have the full knowledge about the subject. He should have studied properly before speaking. In fact, the fishing ban period has been extended after consultations with state governments, Singh told reporters.
The Minister further said, Gandhi should have known that the fishing ban has not been imposed for the first time or by the current government only, but it has been imposed over the past two decades with the motive to ensure conservation of fish during its breeding-period, so that fishermen can get the maximum benefit.
The fishing ban is imposed during the monsoon season and as the sea becomes turbulent the ban is necessary to protect life of fishermen, he added.
Singh also said that a Technical Committee of scientists, headed by the Director, CMFRI (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute), had recommended a fishing ban in the East Coast from April 15 till June 14 (61 days), and from June 1 to July 31 (61 days) in the West Coast.
The recommendations of this committee, which was set up by the UPA government in May 2013, were discussed in the March 18 meeting this year and all coastal states barring Kerala had agreed for extending the fishing ban period to 61 days.
In the meeting, it was also agreed that the states will decide on their own fishing ban period within their territorial waters of 12 nautical miles and applicability of fishing ban on type of boats as per their own convenience.
Terming Gandhi’s charge that the Centre is allowing foreign fishing ships as completely untrue, Singh said, No foreign fishing vessel is allowed in Indian waters.