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Kerala Governor's assent for pelagic fishing in monsoon

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, June 21 (UNI) Kerala Governor R L Bhatia today gave his assent to a Bill, which permitted traditional fishermen to take up pelagic fishing in coastal waters even during the 45-day ban on trawling during the monsoon.

With the Governor giving his assent to the legislation, the Kerala Monsoon Fishery (Pelagic) Protection Bill-2007, traditional fishermen could engage in catching pelagic fishes like the sardine, mackerel and scud by using 'valloms' (country craft) from tomorrow, Fisheries Minister S Sarma told a press conference here today.

He said the government, brought in the legislation, to protect the interests of the traditional fishermen who were almost starving during the 45-day monsoon trawl ban, which would come into force every year from June 15. The Bill was passed by the state Assembly yesterday.

It was during the monsoon period that the pelagic fishes came to the coastal waters and had to be caught during that period. Out of six lakh tonnes of pelagic fishes caught every year along the Kerala coast, half were caught during the monsoon.

Denying the allegation that the Bill was brought in to circumvent the Supreme Court's directive to coastal states to enforce a ban on trawling during monsoon by mechanised boats, as well as fishing by country craft, he said the legislation was not against the spirit of the apex court order.


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