Impose trawler ban within 12 nautical miles, urge marine scientists

Kochi: Fishermen pack fishing material ahead of the annual monsoon trawling ban in Kerala that will begin at midnight on June 10 and will be in force for 52 days; at Vyppen harbour in Kochi on June 9, 2018. (Photo:IANS)
A file photo shows fishermen packing fishing material ahead of an annual monsoon.

Kochi: Marine scientists on Friday demanded a complete ban on trawling in the country's territorial waters within 12 nautical miles.

This emerged as one of the main recommendations of the third international marine symposium on marine ecosystems held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here that concluded on Friday.

"These areas should be demarcated as an exclusive zone for small-scale fishermen," the recommendation said.

Among other aspects that meeting discussed was on reforming the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, in a way to make it effective in the conservation of India's marine species.

"Authoritative science, knowledge and planning are required to assess the performance of the Act. A panel of experts have to look into the Act to bring in adequate changes in various schedules and categories of the Act. Since extinction risks are different between marine species within a group, proper assessment is required on the impact of the Act on marine ecosystems," was another recommendation.

Considering the importance of community-based management of traditional fishers, the symposium suggested that community participation should strictly be ensured while implementing co-management in marine fisheries.

The meeting also recommended that automation and digitisation be incorporated in capture fishery technologies.