The Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation has demanded the government to stick to a 52-day trawling ban in territorial waters under its jurisdiction.

The Central government’s decision to reduce the number of days to 47 beyond the 12 nautical mile-mark is unscientific and detrimental to the intended aim of the fishing holiday, federation State president Jackson Pollayil said on Thursday.

The Centre had, in fact, succumbed to pressure from boat owners and fixed the number of days at 47 using COVID-19 as a pretext. There was no relation at all between the pandemic and conservation of marine fishery resources, he said.

The federation has presented its demand before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma. It also plans to launch agitations from June 1 in front of the Secretariat, headquarters of coastal districts and fishing villages along the coast.

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