Ban on trawling operations
- Kerala will impose a 52-Day trawling ban from June 9, 2021.
- Ban on trawling operations during the monsoon is a measure to conserve marine fish resources.
- Monsoon is the spawning (release or deposit eggs) season of many fish species.
- However, ban is opposed by several fisherman groups as it makes an impact on their income level.
- Trawling is one of the most common methods of fishing.
- Trawl nets are designed to be towed by a boat through the water column (midwater trawl) or along the sea floor (bottom trawl).
- Bottom trawls (also known as demersal trawl) are used to catch fish and prawns that live on or near the sea floor.
- Environmental: Bottom trawls might result in removal or damage of sedentary living organisms (including seaweed and corals).
- Strained- relations: Bottom trawling by India fisherman in Palk strait has been a major issue with Sri Lanka, which has banned it back in 2017.
Other measures taken to wean away fishermen from deep-sea trawling
- Schemes promoting seaweed farming and sea-cage farming.
- Subsidy for conversion of trawler into resource specific deep-sea vessel.
About fisheries sector in India
- Total fisheries potential of India has been estimated at 22.31 million metric tons (in 2018).
- Of this, the marine fisheries potential stands at an estimated 5.31 million metric tons and the inland fisheries potential have been estimated at 17 million metric tons.
- Marine fisheries resources are spread along the country’s vast coastline and 2.02 million square km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 0.53 million sq.km. continental and shelf area.
- The sector also has a huge employment potential.