Fish in Kerala to get dearer as trawling ban begins June 16

June 10th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 10 (IANS) Fish will become costlier in Kerala as the state enforces an annual trawling ban in the sea up to 12 nautical miles from the coast for 47 days starting June 16.
Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Wednesday said no mechanized boats that will be allowed to fish in the sea till July 31. Boats without engines is allowed to fish during the ban.

“The ban will end on July 31 and until then all those working in mechanized boats, peeling sheds and harbours would get free ration. We have set aside Rs.5 million for this,” Achuthanandan said.

The ban was first introduced in 1988 with the aim of conserving marine life as the monsoon is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp.

“As of now itself fish prices have reached sky high and with the ban it would become even more expensive. In the previous years we used to stock fish which would see us through till the ban gets over. But this time I just cannot do that and will have to go without fish,” said P. John, 75, a retired professor.

Fish is a major item for many Malayali families and till recently was cheaper compared to meat.

The government also has announced that the moratorium on loans extended to the fishing community would be extended till Nov 1.

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