The ban on granting fresh licenses to deep sea fishing projects has encouraged poaching by foreign vessels in the Indian economic zone, reveals Tarun Gogoi, Union minister for food processing. The Centre imposed the ban mid-January following protests by traditional fisherpeople claiming that the entry of foreign companies with mechanised boats for deep sea fishing was adversely affecting their livelihood.
Gogoi stated in Hyderabad this March that poaching by foreign vessels had considerably increased since the ban. He said traditional fishermen had to fight it out against the increasing number of mechanised boats rather than deep sea fishing vehicles generally operating in international waters. The government favours concluding joint venture fishing projects, and acquiring foreign vessels to catch up with other South Asian countries. As the Murari Committee report looking into the problems faced by traditional fisherpeople is completed, this would be taken up.
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