Kerala not for confrontation with Centre on trawling issue

Tuesday, Jun 2, 2015,22:09 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A day after uniform fishing ban came into force across the country, Kerala, which opposed the Centre’s decision, today said the state was not for any confrontation with the Centre over the issue.
Addressing a high level meeting that discussed the issue, State Minister for Fisheries K Babu wanted the Centre to reconsider its decision on trawling ban and made it clear that the state was not for any confrontation. The Centre has banned fishing activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone for 61 days from June 1 to July 31.
State does not want any tension in the sea, Babu said, adding, the state would ensure all protection for fishermen in the sea. However, Babu said as usual the state would observe the 47-day trawling ban as in previous years in its coastal waters from June 15 to July 31.
During this period, the traditional fishermen can conduct their operations within 12 nautical miles of the state coast, he said. Babu said the state has certain limitations, but has strong stand on the issue. State has informed its stand to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and High Court, Babu added.
Steps would be taken to distribute ration food articles to fishermen who would lose jobs during the trawling ban period. He also wanted to hold meeting of officials from state, Coast Guard, Marine Enforcement and Navy at district level to ensure proper implemention of trawling ban.
Top officials from Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Protection Force were among those who attended the meeting. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had met Modi at the latter’s residence on May 29 and discussed issues concerning fishermen, two days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre’s decision to extend ban on trawling.
Fishermen in Kerala are protesting the NDA government’s decision to extend trawling ban from 45 days to 61 days to protect marine health and certain provisions of the Meenakumari report on deep sea fishing in coastal areas.