Millennium Post

Govt sets up panel to draft national policy on marine fishery

The Centre on Tuesday said it has set up a new panel to prepare a draft national policy on marine fishery after ascertaining the current status of exploitation of the resources.

The new panel has been set up as the government could not consider implementation of the recommendations of the Meena Kumari Committee on deep-sea fishing due to opposition of local fishing communities and a majority of stakeholders.

"A committee was constituted on July 28, 2015, under the chairmanship of S Ayyapan, former director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)," Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The terms of reference of the committee is to inter alia ascertain the present status of exploitation of marine fishery resources by various sectors, namely traditional sector, mechanised boats and deep-sea fishing, and consult all stakeholders for preparing a draft national policy on marine fishery for its overall development in India, he said.

Asked if the government is implementing the recommendations of the Meena Kumari Committee on deep-sea fishing despite the opposition, the minister said the committee's report was received on August 5, 2014, and it has sought public comments on the same.

"Considering the representations received from a majority of stakeholders, fishermen communities and associations, the recommendations of the said committee have not been considered for implementation," the minister said.

To a query on whether the government has consulted local fishing communities on implementation of the Meena Kumari panel's recommendations, Balyan said deep-sea fishing vessels (DSFVs) in the exclusive economic zone are only allowed to carry out resource-specific fishing beyond 12 nautical miles from the territorial limits.
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