Fish to be dearer in Kerala in ban season

June 13th, 2008 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 13 (IANS) Come midnight Saturday, fish off the Kerala coast will breathe easier as the annual trawling ban comes into effect. Over 5,000 trawlers will be kept out of a 12-nautical mile zone from the coast. Though the ban does not extend to traditional fishermen, nearly 200,000 people in this state dependent on the trawler fishing industry may face a tough time.

The 45-day ban has been on every year since 1988. It is meant to help the fish population recoup, since monsoon is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp.

“This is going to be 45 days of suffering because we don’t know any other vocation and the little catch that comes through the traditional fishermen becomes very expensive,” said Mary, who hawks fish from door to door in the state capital here.

The volume of noise at Thiruvananthapuram’s main fish market was higher than usual Friday morning, as sellers loudly invited prospective buyers to stock up before the ban.

Fish is a major item on the dining table in Kerala. It’s cheaper than meat, too.

“I have stocked about 10 kg of fish because my children want fish fry every day and are not interested in meat. I think this would last about a month,” said Leela, a homemaker.

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