Considering the request of states, including Kerala, the central government is planning to expand the maritime boundary. The order allowing fishing up to 200 nautical miles on sea will soon be issued. The higher officials have informed that the discussions in this regard are in its final stage.
A country has 12 nautical miles (1 nautical mile is 1.85 km) under its national jurisdiction and sovereignty. So, the states can issue fishing license only up to this extent. However, the nations have an exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles in the sea. Though the resources in this area can be used, it is not part of the territorial waters and does not come under sovereignty.
Earlier, the centre had given the letter of permit to foreign vessels for fishing in these zones. But when more than 50 vessels used this permit for exploiting the marine fish, the central government stopped issuing the license. Instead, the government has decided to allow the states to go for fishing in the exclusive economic zone in 200 nautical miles (370 km).
The south Indian states will demand that the central government should issue guidelines regarding the trawling ban following the reports that the ban is not effective as the monsoon in different states occur at different times.
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) had discovered that the breeding time of fish for export like crustaceans and squid is not during the trawl ban period. They breed during the months of October-November whereas the trawl ban in Kerala is during June-July.
A conference of the south Indian fisheries ministers held in Kochi had suggested that trawl ban should be implemented in two stages, it was decided that guidelines from the centre is good for bringing uniformity regarding the ban.