Kollam: Traditional fishermen under the banner of Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) want the trawling ban extended to three months from 45 days.
They say the current duration of the ban is insufficient to protect the fish wealth. The state has also violated the Center's order to ban inboard engine boats above 10hp to trawl the sea during the period, they allege.
"The Union government had issued an order banning trawling for 68 days and permitted 'kappal vallam' or the inboard engine boats above 10hp to trawl only beyond 22 km into the deep sea, during the season. All states except Kerala have implemented this," said A. Andrews, district secretary, KSMTF.
The 45-day trawling ban in Kerala waters will come into force from midnight of June 14.
The inboard engines using ring-seine fishing nets filter out the fish resource at the bottom of the sea including the juvenile fish and eggs along with the fish in the peripheral sea.
This has badly affected the livelihood of traditional fishers who particularly depend on the coastal sea for fishing. "As this is the case, the traditional fishermen should be permitted to go as far as 34 nautical miles into the sea for fishing at the same time banning ring-seine inboard engine boats," Mr Andrews demanded.
The directives by Central marine fisheries research institute (CMFRI) on the minimum legal size (MLS) of fish species have not been effectively implemented.
The CMFRI has recommended for minimum legal size as a fish management tool with the ability to protect juvenile fish, maintain spawning stocks and control the sizes of fish caught.
This has been in the wake of catching a considerable amount of juveniles of small pelagics during the fishing seasons in a targeted manner to meet the demand of fish meal plants. Exploitation of juvenile fish results in a considerable economic loss, in terms of what could have been obtained, had the fishers waited for a few months and allowed it to grow in size and weight. bIt has also been observed that growing over-fishing also causes serious damage to fish stock in terms of long-term sustainability of the resources....