The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying issues advisory to coastal States and Union Territories (UTs) from time to time to sensitize the fishermen on the implications of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and on the importance of not to cross IMBL. Besides, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) regularly conduct Community Interaction Programmes (CIPs) for the fishermen in the coastal villages wherein they are sensitized about IMBL among other safety and security measures.
ICG ships and aircraft, during regular patrol close to IMBL undertake shepherding of Indian fishing boats into Indian waters. Co-ordinated patrols with neighboring countries are also undertaken in order to sensitize the fishermen to avoid crossing IMBL.
ICG also sensitizes Fisheries Departments of Coastal States/UTs and fisheries associations about the perils of fishing near/across IMBL. Enhanced CIPs are conducted among fisher folk emphasizing on adverse implications for illegal entry and dangers involved in crossing IMBL. Since 2009, Indian Coast Guards have conducted 10,696 Community Interactions. Standard Operating Procedures have been promulgated by Ministry of Home Affairs in November, 2016 to prevent transgression of IMBL by Indian fishermen.
The flagship scheme “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) being implemented by Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying provides support to traditional fishermen/fishermen’s groups, to acquire deep sea fishing vessels and Automatic Information System/communication devises and support for training and capacity building to avoid crossing IMBL and instead to fish in other areas within Exclusive Economic Zone far away from their bases.
In addition, PMMSY also supports fitment of communication and/or tracking devices, and GPS onboard fishing boats in order to help the fishermen to avoid straying across IMBL.
This information was given by Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.