Kerala hopes of shifting of proposed shipping channel

With majority of the fisherfolk against the proposed shipping channel from Gujarat to Kanyakumari along the coastline, the Kerala Government has already proposed to the Centre to shift the proposed shipping channel outside the fishing ground.

Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma had last week told the Assembly that the Centre was asked to reconsider its decision on the shipping channel as the fishermen have raised serious concern over the new channel. She also said that the government hoped that the centre would take a favourable decision.

The Centre proposes to develop the new shipping channel with 34.5-km width at a distance of 15 nautical miles off the coastline. Mercykutty Amma said that as the shipping channel is supposed to come at a distance of 15 nautical miles, it would endanger the fishermen as chances of collision between Shipping Vessels and fishing boats are more.

She also mentioned that the meeting of the southern fisheries minister’s held in November 2018 had also discussed the issue. After the meeting, letters were sent to the Shipping Ministry and also the Director General of Shipping for changing the proposed shipping channel from the fishing ground.

The Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation and National Fish Workers Forum are already up in arms against the shipping channel and has held various protests in the issue. They said that the new shipping channel would affect the livelihood of the fishermen. Moreover, they said that the chances are higher for collision between shipping vessels and fishing boats.

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