By Anupama Vimal
Stating that trawl ban was necessitated for conservation of fish wealth and also for balancing the ecosystem, traditional fishermen in Kerala have said that they were not for reducing the existing trawl ban period.
Apart from this, they said that they were for increasing the trawl ban period to 60 days as specified by the centre.
In Kerala, the annual trawl ban comes into force in June. The state now imposes 52 days of trawl ban. The fishermen made this statement at a meeting convened by Kerala Fisheries Minister Mercykutty Amma in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss about the issues related to trawl ban.
Stressing that the ban period should not be reduced, National Fish Workers Forum General Secretary T Peter told the meeting that he was of the opinion that the period could be increased to 60 days as specified by the Centre. He also said that trawl ban could be imposed in October and November if needed. There was a call for imposing trawl ban in two periods, one during June and another during October/November.
Matsyathozhilali Congress president R Austin Gomas also opined that the ban should not be brought down from the present days. Matsyathozhilali Federation (STU) president Ummer Ottummal said that the trawl ban should only be imposed at one time and not in 2 phases. He also said that the government should make sure that the fishermen are given livelihood assistance during this period.
Noting that trawl ban was always a progressive step towards conservation and balancing the ecosystem, Kerala Matsyathozhilali Aikya Vedi President Charles George was of the opinion that the ban period should be increased to 90 days. He said that there was no harm of two terms of trawl ban.
The other trade union representatives also had the same view that the ban period shoul