Thiruvananthapuram: Fishermen bodies have come out against the Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill proposed by the Union government. The provision for separate registration in territorial waters and exclusive economic zone is against the interest of fishermen, they allege.
National Fishworkers’ Forum general secretary T. Peter told Deccan Chronicle that the draft Bill has given the powers to the state government to manage the fisheries in the territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles and the central government to manage the fisheries in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ). “These two separate management regimes for the territorial waters and the EEZ are not realistic or meaningful. What we require is a strong system of joint management of marine fisheries by the state government and the centre,” he said.
When the first draft of the MAFIRMA was circulated in 2009, the NFF had proposed a National Fisheries Authority, which could ensure such a system, said Mr Peter.
In the southern states, even small motorised boats go beyond the 12 nautical miles with gillnets and lines. In the north-west coast, where the continental shelf extends well beyond the territorial waters even beyond 100 nautical miles in some areas, traditional fishing methods like bag nets and gillnets are operated on large traditional boats that fish all over the shelf.
For such fleets, the double registration and double accountability are not meaningful or realistic.
Such vessels should be exempted from such dual registration. However, these vessels should follow the code of conduct as well as the provisions of the management plans....