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Register all boats, fishing licences a must, states told

MoD wipes dust off a year-old proposal for 16 interceptor vessels for Coast Guard

Written by Amitavranjan | New Delhi |
December 24, 2008 1:22:45 am

To identify and intercept alien boats along India’s coastline, the Centre plans to put into service Inshore Patrol Vessels while making it mandatory on coastal states to register all boats, including dhows and dinghies, with their registration numbers prominently displayed.

The Defence Ministry, jolted into action after the November 26 attacks by 10 Pak terrorists who seized an Indian fishing trawler to land in Mumbai, also exhumed last year’s proposal to purchase 16 more interceptor vessels with surface-search radars for the Coast Guards.

The proposal, expedited after the attack, proposes to the Cabinet Committee on Security that while some of these IPVs could be made at its Garden Reach Shipyard, some could be purchased off the shelf. It seeks permission to acquire these vessels for about Rs 1,000 crore.

India has a 7,516-km coastline, touching nine states and four union territories, for which it currently deploys 13 IPVs.

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In a separate move, the Agriculture Ministry has sent out a missive to state governments asking them to enforce the model Marine Fisheries Regulation Act — fisheries being a state subject, the Centre can only provide a “model” Act — which stipulates the registration of each fishing vessel with a specified authority. Under this Act, each state has to ensure that each boat prominently displays the registration number on the boat, obtains license for fishing, informs and sticks to a port of operation and submits voyage report within a stipulated time.

The letter, dated December 3, has asked states to “intimate the status of registration of fishing vessels” in the state as there were “reports that a large number of these vessels were not registered or were undertaking fishing activities without a licence”.

It has also asked states to provide details of any exemptions granted to any category of fishing vessels under the state law in force.

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First published on: 24-12-2008 at 01:22:45 am

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