The decision was taken at a high-level meeting called by the Minister of Fisheries on Thursday as the 2020 edition of the monsoon trawling ban ends on July 31 at midnight.
Fishing activities along the Kerala coast will be allowed to resume from August 5 subject to strict conditions, given the worsening COVID-19 scenario in the state.
The decision was made at a high-level meeting convened by Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma on Thursday as the 2020 edition of the monsoon trawl ban ends on July 31 at midnight.
At this time, boats and crews from neighboring states will not be allowed to enter Kerala ports / landing centers or participate in fishing-related activities due to the COVID-19 situation.
Official orders in this regard are expected to be released on Friday.
State fishermen who venture out to sea from August 5 will need to adhere to strict disease containment protocols, given the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in coastal areas. Boats will be allowed to go to sea every other day in an even-odd pattern depending on their registration numbers. Standards of physical distancing and the use of disinfectant and face masks will be strictly enforced. The strength of the crew in the boats will also be regulated.
By August 5, management committees will be formed in all landing centers and fishing ports. The commissions will be responsible for setting the prices.
Strict regulations will be in place for the transport of catch from coastal areas, especially those within COVID-19 containment areas. Fish landed in landing centers inside containment zones cannot be sold outside the zones. The ban on auctioning catches will be maintained. From the larger ports, the catch will be transported elsewhere in disinfected trucks under the supervision of Matsyafed.
Fishing sector unions and representatives of boat owners attended the meeting. The annual trawl fishing ban came into effect in Kerala on June 9 at midnight.