Animal Husbandry

Important Facts! National Marine Fisheries Bill which Every Fisher Should Know

Hitul Awasthi
Hitul Awasthi

Marine fishery contributes to the food security, nutrition, poverty alleviation, trade and livelihoods of fishermen. In 2017, Government of India (GOI) notified the ‘National policy on Marine Fisheries’ (NPMF, 2017), which provides guidelines for ‘Blue Revolution’ by sustainable use of fisheries wealth of the country for improving the livelihood of fishermen and their families. 

 The Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill, 2019

Aims to provide for regulation and management of fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India and the high seas and for conservation and sustainable use of marine fisheries resources; maintenance of law and order in the maritime zone of India; supporting social security, livelihoods and safety at sea of fishers and fish-worers, in particular the traditional and small-scale fishers, and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto. 

 Key points of the Bill

  1. The Bill aims at nationalizing the EEZ, thus prohibits fishing by foreign fishing vessels
  2. The fishing vessel must be registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, so as to get permit for fishing
  3. Proposes social security for fish workers and calls for protection of life at sea during severe weather events
  4. Bigger vessels, particularly trawlers, registered and licensed under state departments, will need a permit to fish. 

Regulation of Fisheries In The Exclusive Economic Zone And High Seas 

  1. No Indian fishing vessel shall engage in any fishing or fishing related activity within the exclusive economic zone of India or the high seas, except with a permit issued by the Central Government or any authority notified under this Act for fishing, and shall be subject such conditions and restrictions as prescribed
  2. Permit issued under this Act shall be subject to levy of fee and charges for fishing thereof and fishing related activities and in such manner as prescribed. Provided that Central Government may exempt any person, entity or category or class of vessel(s) from the requirement of payment of fee and charges as prescribed
  3. No permit shall be issued unless the fishing vessel is registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
  4. No permit shall be granted under this Act to foreign fishing vessel for fishing and fishing related activities within the exclusive economic zone of India
  5. A permit granted under this Act shall be non-transferrable, and shall not be assigned to, or create interest in favour of any third party
  6. No fishing vessel granted permit under this Act shall indulge in any form of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing activity in the maritime zones of India, the high seas and in the waters under national jurisdictions of other countries without authorization
  7. The Central Government may deny or withhold the issuance of permit, to a vessel or a class of vessels, having regard to matters related to national security of India and maintenance of law and order in the maritime zones of India
  8. Every order of accepting or rejecting an application for the grant of permit shall be in writing

Conclusion

The bill aims at improving the livelihood of fishers by providing them opportunities to carry out fishing activity in the EEZ. The bill will go a long way in Doubling of farmers income by 2022. 

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