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With fishing ban coming in force from June 14th midnight

As the 47-day trawling ban began on June 14th midnight, the Fisheries Department has ordered all boats from outside Kerala to leave the State waters immediately or to anchor them in their respective places. The department has also ordered all coastal diesel outlets to be closed during the ban period as sale of diesel to mechanised boats is prohibited during the period.

Fishermen, peeling shed workers and workers in related areas will be provided with free ration during the period, according to a state government press release. The department has opened a 24-hour control room in times of emergency for the fishermen.

In a related development, traditional fishermen have demanded that the trawling ban be extended. The Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi reiterated its demand that the trawling ban be extended to 90 days along with a pre-monsoon ban on outboard and inboard boats.

Trawling is the most destructive type of fishing and it has been totally banned in different parts of the world according to local fishermen. Neighbouring Sri Lanka is among the countries that has banned trawling.

All coastal States in the country have opted for a 61-day ban on trawling. Even Karnataka, which followed Kerala pattern till last year, has begun a 61-day ban on trawling. Only Kerala is staying away from extending the ban period.

Kerala has been banning trawling during the monsoon since 1994 and various committees appointed have called for strengthening the ban. The extension of ban period acquired significance because Kerala was undergoing a fish famine at present.

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