Kerala proposes to enhance its marine wealth through scientific methods.
The draft fisheries policy approved by the Cabinet recently also seeks to double the income of fishworkers and introduce a participatory system of fisheries management. It will also ensure the right of fishermen to fix the price of the catch and sell it in the market. It also calls for better conservation and management of marine resources.
According to Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty, the government was planning to strengthen cooperative institutions to curb the exploitation of fishermen by middlemen.
The government proposed to limit the number of fishing vessel licences for an individual and curb destructive methods of fishing.
Stating the the thrust of the police was on making fisheries sector environment-friendly, she said deep sea fishing would be encouraged. Fisheries management would be made participatory with a three- tier system of management councils at the village, district and state level.
The policy document outlines several measures for safety at sea. These include the constitution of a sea rescue squad, marine ambulance service and a system for monitoring the movement of fishing vessels. All fishing vessels would be required to carry navigation lights, signals, safety equipment and communication gadgets and only trained crew would be allowed to operate the boats.
The policy also lays stress on promoting ornamental fish production.