Kerala is likely to continue with the 52 day trawl ban this year as the government is not for any confrontation with the stakeholders who are opposing the increase of the period.
The government as well as the traditional fishermen are for increasing the ban period to 61 days as specified by the Centre. However, the boat owners have been opposing this for a long period. Even when the state government had last year brought in an increase of the ban period from 45 days to 52 days, the boat owners had vehemently opposed it.
Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma is learned to have said that if a consensus was not reached for increasing the ban period, the state would stick on to last year’s ban period. She is said to have conveyed this at a meeting of the Trade Unions related to the traditional fisherfolk in the capital city the other day. However, the government is yet to call meeting of all stake holders on trawl ban before a decision is taken.
The other day, the government had a meeting of the trade unions of the traditional fishermen where the leaders had said that they were not for reducing the present trawl ban period. Some of the leaders had even supported increasing the ban period to 60 days and also imposing in two phases.
While the traditional fishermen think that the trawl ban would help in the conservation of fish wealth and also to bring in a balance of the ecosystem, the boat owners claim that the scientific community itself is not fully convinced of the trawl ban effects.