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Kerala: Boat owners plan stir as fisheries Department intensifies drive against juvenile fishing by Manoj Viswanathan September 16,2019   |  Source: New Indian Express

The drive launched by the Fisheries Department to curb juvenile fishing in coastal waters has invited the wrath of boat owners, who are planning to launch a stir alleging harassment. The department had launched the drive following a decision taken in a meeting convened by Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma. At the meeting, boat owners and traditional fishermen had accepted to strictly follow sustainable fishing practices, including the enforcement of minimum legal size (MLS) of important fish species. However, boat owners allege that the Marine Enforcement Wing of the Fisheries Department is harassing them by imposing exorbitant fines and auctioning the catch in the name of juvenile fishing.

“A study by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) had said that 40 per cent juvenile content is permissible in the catch. Even the minister had agreed that boats wouldn’t be penalised if the presence of juvenile fish was less than 40 per cent. However, the Fisheries Department is imposing fines and impounding the catch even when juvenile content is less,” said Munambam Boat Owners’ Coordination Committee chairman PP Girish. According to him, boat workers are refusing to go for a fishing expedition due to harassment by the officers.

“Most boat workers are

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)