Kerala bans trawling, fish prices to rise

Thiruvananthapuram, June 14 (IANS) Already sky high, the price of fish, a regular item on a Keralite's dining table, is set to soar even higher in the state, as the trawling ban comes into effect starting midnight Friday for the next 47 days.

According to fish vendors in the capital's markets, the prices have already started to go up.

"In the past two days, seer fish prices have been going up by 10 to 15 percent... today it's Rs.800 a kilogram and very soon it will reach an all-time high of Rs.1,000 a kilogram," said a woman fish vendor.

The trawling ban has been an annual feature since 1988 and the sea till 12 nautical miles from the Kerala coast (the territorial waters of India) will become silent with foreign trawlers and mechanised boats banned from casting their nets.

"This ban is part of conservation as the monsoon is the spawning season for many varieties of fish, including shrimp," said K.P. Laladhas, member secretary of Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

This ban, however will not be for those who fish on canoes (the traditional Vallom that's fitted with a small motor).

During this period, all those working in mechanized boats, peeling sheds and harbours would be entitled to get free rations.