The annual 61-day fishing ban along the Tamil Nadu coast came into effect from Monday (April 15) in view of the breeding season.
Fisheries Department assistant director in Rameswaram M Gopinath said nearly 12,000 mechanised boats in 13 districts including Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore among others in the state would stay off the sea during the period. The ban would be in force till June 15, he added.
Mechanised boats fishermen have been instructed not to venture out to sea to avoid disturbance caused by trawlers to marine life during the breeding season, he said.
The ban would not apply to country boats which would continue fishing as usual, he added. Tamil Nadu has more than 1,076-km-long coastline and is one of the leading states in marine fish production.
The ban was increased from 45 to 60 days in 2017. Thousands of fishermen would be rendered jobless during the ban period, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President, P Sesuraja said.
He urged the state government to increase the compensation of ₹5,000 given to fishermen for the loss of income during the ban period to ₹10,000.
Among the other demands put forth to the government were steps to secure the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Lankan Navy for allegedly straying into the island nation’s waters.