Kerala fisherfolk to venture into deep sea fishing

Thiruvananthapuram: The fishing community in the state is all set to venture into deep sea fishing. It is learnt that the cooperative groups of the fisherfolk will go fishing in the deep sea with the partnership of government agencies. At present, only private fishing boats are engaged in deep sea fishing. It is for the first time, the government is associating with deep sea fishing.

Deep sea fishing is implemented in Kerala as part of the central government's Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). With this, the government aims to increase fish production annually by 9 per cent and double the revenue from fish export.

Traditional fishermen have been venturing into the sea up to 12 nautical miles from the coast. As per the deep sea fishing policy, fishermen are allowed to venture into the sea beyond 200 nautical miles in the Indian EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

As fishing activities are on the rise on the Kerala coast, it will affect the fish wealth in the state. It is observed that deep sea fishing will decrease the impacts on fish wealth in the state.

Sources close to the fisheries department reported that 10 boats will be operated in the first phase of for deep sea fishing. Boats will be constructed under Cochin Shipyard.

A 10-member beneficiary group in the model of self-help groups will be created as part of the project. Training will be provided to these groups. Each group will get the boat and related facilities. An expenditure of Rs 1.5 cr is estimated for this deep sea fishing unit.

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