the fisheries minister of Kerala, T K Ramakrishnan, has blamed the Union government's deep-sea fishing policy for depletion of marine wealth. He said that the Centre had allowed for deep-sea fishing to foreign vessels on hire, vessels of foreign joint-venture companies and ships indulging in fishing on an experimental basis. Nearly 245 licenses were given, leading to much protest, he adds.
Ramakrishnan said that chief minister E K Nayanar had written to the Centre seeking cancellation of the fishing licences and implementation of the Murari commission report. According to him, a meeting of fisheries ministers at Bangalore in November 1996 had adopted a resolution, introduced by him that called for cancellation of licences.
The Murari Commission report has been implemented partially and the Centre has assured that no more licences would be given. The State government has also informed the Centre that it cannot accept the stand that licenses already issued cannot be cancelled as it involved providing huge sums as compensation.
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