This FIP concentrates on the stocks of the following species: Heterocarpus chani, H. woodmasoni and Aristeus alcocki. For the pre-assessment, the management unit is the stock of these three species found in Kerala coastal waters, mainly operating in an area called Kollam bank.
The fishery is a mixed trawl fishery, with each vessel carrying six or seven types of trawl gear, including bottom, midwater and pelagic trawls. Each vessel may catch 200 – 250kg of shrimp per tow. The target Heterocarpus shrimp are caught in around 200-300 metres depth, with Aristeus alcocki mainly taken at 250-300m. Other deep-sea shrimp are also landed in the fishery, with for example Solenocera hextii being significant in the catch from ~150 meters. Small amounts of cephalopods and deep-sea shark species are also landed by the same boats.
There are 700 – 750 boats operated from Sakthikulangra, and less than 50 from Vypin, 20% of which go fishing for deep-sea shrimp. Trips last between four and ten days, landing their catch in the early mornings in Kollam, which is the nearest landing site to the fishing grounds. A single vessel may do two to three hauls a day, with a towing duration of two to three hours. The fishing season is between September to May, with peak fishing from November to January. The SW monsoon brings bad weather to the coast of Kerala, which can prevent the fishery from starting until mid-September in some cases, as it takes two to three days steaming to reach the fishing grounds (Dr. Rehka Devi Chakraborty, CMFRI, pers. comm.). As with other mechanised trawl fisheries, the deep-sea fishery is subject to a ban during the monsoon period.
The responsibility for marine fisheries in India is shared between the National (Central) and State governments. The national legal framework in India gives individual States control of the seas and living marine resources up to 12 nautical miles (nm) from the shore, while the Central Government has control from 12 nm to the 200 nm exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary. This fishery is managed by the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala.
According to the World Bank (2010) report, there are five major legal instruments of the Central government that directly govern marine fisheries and activities:
- The Indian Fisheries Act, 1897;
- Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (No. 13 of 1972);
- The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by foreign vessels) Act, 1981 (No. 42 of 1981);
- The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by foreign vessels) Rules, 1982;
- The Operation of Deep Sea Fishing Vessels, 20m OAL and above, Notifications dated 14 December 2006.
State legislation is based on a model Act prepared by the central government in 1979 (World Bank, 2010) with each State developing its own marine fisheries legislation to manage fisheries in their respective area. In Kerala State, fisheries management is guided by the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980 (KMFR Act). It was amended in 2017 and is in the process of being implemented across the State.
This FIP concentrates on the stocks of the following species: Heterocarpus chani, H.
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FIP at a Glance