Sarma warns foreign vessels not to fish in Indian waters

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Kochi, June 19 (UNI) Kerala Fisheries minister S Sarma today said stern action would be taken against foreign fishing vessels entering Indian waters during the trawling ban from June 14 to July 31.

Speaking to reporters here, he said ''instruction had been given to Marine Enforement and Coast Guard to take action against foreign vessels, who were fishing in Indian waters.

He said the instruction follow information that foreign vessels were fishing in Indian waters along the Kerala coast during the trawling ban.

The minister also informed that loans upto Rs 50,000 taken by fishermen cooperatives after 1996 would he written off under the Centre's Debt Relief package for farmers.

For amounts above Rs 50,000 the fishermen would be given 25 per cent relief and the balance paid in three instalments, he said.

Earlier, fishermen co-operatives were not included for debt relief in the package and after the state government's discussions with the Centre, they were included.

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