New Delhi | The Centre today exempted non- motorised fishing boats from the uniform fishing ban imposed in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which extends 12 nautical miles beyond the Indian territorial waters.
The move follows Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi last month accusing the Narendra Modi government of going against the interests of fishermen in coastal states by not allowing them to do fishing even as foreign trawlers were allowed. In April, the Centre had extended the fishing ban in the EEZ to 61 days from 47 days to safeguard the marine wealth.
It has been decided that traditional non-motorised units will be exempted from uniform fishing ban imposed in the Indian EEZ, which is beyond territorial waters, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan said here on sidelines of a press conference organised to highlight the ministry’s one year achievements.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charges, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said: Rahul did not know that fishing ban was not imposed for the first time, but it has been imposed over the past two decades to ensure conservation of fish, which is in the interest of fishermen. He said a suggestion to allow foreign vessels for fishing in Indian waters, which came from a committee set up during the UPA regime, has not been considered by the current government.
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, Singh added.