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Traditional fishermen defy uniform fishing ban

Traditional fishermen defy uniform fishing ban

Thiruvananthapuram: Defying the Centre's uniform fishing ban, traditional fishermen affiliated to a state fishermen's body Wednesday put out to sea off Chetuva coastal hamlet in Thrissur district and ventured upto 15 nautical miles for their catch.

Nearly 60 fishermen in six traditional craft set out to sea in protest against the Centre's decision to impose 61-day fishing ban from June 1 to July 31.

"We went upto 15 nautical miles for fishing operations.

This agitation to press for the rights of traditional fishermen was a success," Kerala Pradesh Malsya Thozhilali Congress leader T N Prathapan, MLA, told PTI over phone from sea.

The stir was above caste, religion and politics, he said, adding it was an agitation by 'neglected' people.

Congress led UDF government in Kerala had opposed the Centre's ban on fishing activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone for 61 days from June 1 to July 31 and had maintained it would be imposed only for 47-days from June 15 to July 31 as in earlier years.

Yesterday, Fisheries Minister K Babu had made it clear after a top level meeting that Kerala was not for a confrontation with the Centre over the issue and that the ban would be in force for 45 days in coastal areas from June 15.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had met Modi at the latter's residence on May 29 and discussed issues concerning fishermen, two days after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre's decision to extend ban on trawling.

Fishermen in Kerala are protesting the NDA government's decision to extend trawling ban from 45 to 61 days to protect marine health and certain provisions of the Meenakumari report on deep sea fishing in coastal areas.

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