New regulations likely for fishermen of Maharashtra

Mumbai: The Navy and Maharashtra government have proposed to introduce new set of regulations for the fishermen community in the state, in a bid to secure the western coast of the country.

The authorities said that as per the plan, if the regulations are not followed by the fishing community, the subsidy provided to them on diesel would be withdrawn.

"There is a proposal to issue tokens to the fishing boats and trawlers leaving the Maharashtra coast for fishing and allied activities. Each fishing boat will have to provide the names of the persons who will sail, the quantity of fuel carried and their scheduled return," a Navy official said.

"If any discrepancy is found in the details provided or if the information is found to be incorrect, then no diesel subsidy will be extended to such boats," he added.

According to the official, if a particular boat or a trawler does not return within the declared time, then they can easily be contacted through the communications system and a search can be launched if needed.

Any boat, which does not comply with this directive will not be eligible for the subsidised diesel and will have to buy the fuel from open market at an expensive rate.

The government is also planning to make mechanised fishing boats get certain colours painted on its hull, cabin, wheel house, upper portions for easy identification. Also the boat's registration number and name will have to be painted in black on the cabin roof and near the stem, official said.

"This colouring plan was long due," said another Naval source adding that subsidy of the fuel will be withdrawn on the boat which doesn't comply with the colour code.

The Fisheries Department of the state government is likely to be the implementation agency in this regard. Maharashtra has a 720 km long coastline with around 1,200 mechanised boats and approximately 11,000 non-mechanised boats in 2006-07, as per the official figures.

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