Committee to recommend on amendments to Marine Fisheries Act

Minister J. Mercykutty AmmaThiruvananthapuram: Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma told the Assembly on Monday that government had appointed a committee with experts to recommend on amendments to the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act.

The committee will examine further measures for conservation of fishes, licensing of fishing boats and compulsory training to fishermen, among other things.

The Minister was responding to notice for an adjournment motion from by Hibi Eden (Congress) highlighting distress among fishermen following drop in catches.

Ms. Mercykutty Amma rejected that the demand of Mr. Eden that a package should be announced for fishermen in distress noting that catches had improved in October and November this year. Besides, they had been included in the priority list for free or subsidised supply of grains.

She said that there was already a ban on pelagic trawling. Minimum size had been specified for fishing of 14 varieties and recommendation for adding 58 more species to the list was before the government.

She said that the help of police had been sought for confiscating lorries transporting fish below the minimum size specified to other States.

Mr. Eden said that the fishermen faced a famine. Catches had declined and 65 per cent of the fishermen were facing a crisis. Legal and scientific measures should be taken for conservation of fish resources.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan refused permission to move the motion in view of explanation given by the Minister.