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Most states agree on extending fishing ban to 61 days

Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: Most coastal states have agreed to extend the fishing ban period to 61 days to enable fish breeding, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.

All states agreed on July 31 for the last date of ban for the west coast and June 14 for the east coast, he said.

At present, fishing is banned for 47 days. During the ban period, the mechanised boats are barred from entering the deep seas for fishing.

“The issue of fishing ban period was discussed in detail. Most states agreed on fishing ban for 61 days,” Singh told reporters after the meeting with the ministers of coastal states here.

In the meeting, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Fisheries Ministers from Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Goa and West Bengal and representatives from Tamil Nadu and Adaman and Nicobar were present.

Speaking against extension of fishing ban period, Kerala Fisheries and Agriculture Minister K Babu said: “Extending ban period to 61 days will adversely affect about more than 10 lakh fishermen in the state.”

On deep sea fishing issue, Singh said that there was a consensus among states not to allow foreign vessels to fish in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.

“We have received suggestion on regulation of deep sea fishing. We will give the final shape soon,” he added.

The Minister also said that coastal states had a unanimous view that the Centre should give final shape to the Marine Fisheries (Regulation Management) Bill pending since 2009.

He said that the Bill will be finalised after consulting the Defence Minister. “The Defence Ministry will not be involved in this but since the Defence Minister has wide knowledge and experience on this issue, we will consult him in an individual capacity,” he added.

The NDA government has began work on the Bill and initiated consultation process with the coastal states.

At present, there is no central law to regulate marine fishery activities in the country, but coastal states have their own respective legislations. The Bill aims to give legal sanctity to all state laws.

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