Bowing to pressure from traditional and mechanised fishing boats in Kerala, the state government has slashed the license fee by half of all types of boats. The fishermen in the state were up in arms against the ten-fold hike in the permit fees of the traditional as well as mechanised boats.
With the government issuing a notification modifying the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980, the license fee for 25 metre and above length has been slashed to twenty five thousand from the earlier fifty thousand, which is just half of the hike. For 20 metre boats, the fisherman has to give Rs 15,000 as license fee.
The government had increased the license fee last year, which was highly criticised by the fishing community. They alleged that the government was trying to destroy the traditional sector. With an increase in fuel prices and the fish catch dwindling, the fishermen had voiced against the steep hike. They were almost at the verge of kick-starting an agitation when the state fisheries minister J Mercykutty Amma held talks with them. The various unions had told the government that they would not be able to bear the exorbitant increase of the license fee. The Minister had promised them that the issue would be looked into the fee would be slashed.
As per the notification, fishing vessels having 15 metre of length has to pay a fee of Rs 3000. While the fishing boats with 10 metre length have to pay Rs 2000, the boats having five metre of lengthy has to pay Rs 300. An amount of rs 100 has to be paid by owners having a boat of length below five metres.