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What is the News?
The Union Government is considering increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels to make them more attractive to fisherfolk. At present, the Palk Bay scheme covers fishing vessels up to Rs 80 Lakh. The government is considering to increase this amount to Rs 1.3 Cr.
What is the Palk Bay Scheme?
Palk Bay Scheme is also known as Scheme for Diversification Of Trawl Fishing Boats From Palk Straits Into Deep Sea Fishing Boats.
The scheme was launched by the Government of India in 2017 as a Centrally sponsored scheme.
What are the objectives of the scheme?
Firstly, it is a Tamil Nadu-specific scheme aimed at providing 2,000 vessels in three years to fishermen of the State and motivating them to abandon bottom trawling.
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Secondly, it aims to reduce fishing pressure around the proximity of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) so that Tamil Nadu fishermen do not cross the IMBL and fish in Sri Lankan waters.
What is the funding Pattern of the Scheme?
Under the scheme is the Centre is providing 50% cost of the fishing vessel, the State government is providing 20% cost and the 10% cost will be the Institutional funding. The beneficiary will put the remaining 20% for the vessel.
The Scheme is limited to vessels costing up to Rs. 80 Lakh.
What is Bottom Trawling?
It is an ecologically destructive fishing practice. It involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the seafloor.
The major problem in bottom trawling is Bycatch (captures juvenile fish and other non-targeted fish species). This will cause great depletion of aquatic resources and affect marine conservation efforts.
Source: This post is based on the article ”Palk Bay scheme to get a fillip: Murugan” published in ‘The Hindu’ on 08th October 2021.