'Stop illegal fishing'

The Central government has given licence to 77 foriegn companies to carry out fishing in Indian sea and around 300 foreign boats are resorting to illegal fishing in the restricted zone from 20 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles from the coast.

The illegal fishing has been a threat to the fish population, said BJP National Fishermen Forum Executive member Ramchandra Baikampady.

Addressing a press meet here, he said that the BJP National Fishermen Forum will stage a protest in the coming days, against the move of the Government.

He alleged that this is not the first time the foreign companies are fishing in the Indian waters. During the reign of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, permission were given to boats belonging to foreign countries to carry out fishing in Indian sea.

However, owing to the pressure from the fishermen, the government had to withdraw the permission.

“Huge fishing boats belonging to America, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Malaysia are carrying out illegal fishing in a large scale using bull trawlers.  

According to the CRZ rules, no one is allowed to carry out fishing from 20 to 200 nautical miles from the coast. But the foreign boats, are crossing the line and are engaged in fishing cattlefish,” he said.

Owing to illegal fishing, the fish population is dwindling.

“The Central government had issued an order three years ago, banning the fishing by foreign fishing boats in Indian sea. Then what is the point in issuing 77 new licences to the foriegn fishing boats now ? he asked.

He alleged that Government, Coast Guards are blind towards illegal fishing which has been carried out unabated. No one has any information on the fish catch by the foreign boats, he said.

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