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No artificial lights permitted on fishing vessels to protect ecology

The Centre has banned use of LED lights and other artificial lights on mechanised fishing vessels in order to protect the marine ecology, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on the World Fisheries Day.

The government has also prohibited the practice of bull- trawling, purse seining and gill netting operations in the Indian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters, he said. A notification in this regard has been issued recently on November 10, he added.

The decision was taken after coastal states including Goa made a representation to the Centre to prohibit these activities to save the marine ecology. Highlighting other measures taken to boost the fishery sector, Singh said the government has stopped the letter of permit (LoP) system since January this year.

The LOP system aimed at facilitating Indian fishermen buy used deep sea fishing vessels from other countries and after having them registered in India, use these boats to fish in Indian waters.

Fishing ban has been exempted during monsoon period to traditional fishermen in the area of EEZ beyond 12 nautical miles which is regulated by the government, he said. The duration of fishing ban has been increased from 47 days to 61 days, with the consent of all coastal State Governments, he added.

Stating that there is more potential in the fishery sector, Singh said the sector can play an important role in doubling farmersí income by 2022. The vast aquatic resources present in the country provide more opportunities and potential for further development in fisheries sector, he said.

The scheme 'Blue Revolution' with an outlay of Rs 300 crore is being implemented for the integrated development of the fishery sector and achieve fish output of 15 million tonnes by 2020 from the current 11.41 million tonnes, he said.

This scheme will contribute significantly to achieving the targets of doubling the income of farmers and fishermen by 2022," he added.

India, which has a fleet of 2.48 lakh fishing vessels, had exported fish products worth Rs 37,871 crore during 2016- 17 fiscal, as per the government data.


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