By Richerd Raja
CHAPTER I - PREAMBLE
1.1 This Bill aims at “Aquarian reforms” that assure the livelihood rights of “Fishermen Castes” as recognized by Central and State Gazette notifications, and also other people who catch fish in order to meet their live-hood means.
1.2 Enacted by the Parliament, under article 297 and entry 32 of the list of the 7th Schedule of Constitution of India, this Bill intends to reserve and delimit specific areas of the seas for use by traditional fishermen who use non-mechanized boats and preserving their way of life that is closely intertwined with that of the ocean and seas.
well as restricting use of
1.3 The Bill aims at banning the use of mechanized fishing boats within 100 Kilometers of Indian shore line. Indiscriminate use of mechanized vessels and factory ships whose intensive “catch methods” use have depleted the fisheries and other living resources of India’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone.
1.4 Conservation and holistic management of India’s Ocean resources would be the hallmark of the present Bill. The Bill shall put systems in place like restricting the use of intensive fishing gears, mechanized vessels, etc. Also operation of provisions of this Bill shall minimize “economic discard” . (Note; means fish which are the target of fishery but which are not retained because they are of undesirable size , sex or quality or for other economic reasons.) This would result in the recovery of the flora and fauna of Indian seas and ensure continuity of under sea life forms for posterity and for future generations instead of the present trend of indiscriminate destruction of the under sea environment aimed at India’s oceans becoming under water desert.
1.4 This Bill shall lay down the number of specified vessels to be operated in specified areas, to regulate or prohibit use of ecologically harmful fishing gear in specified areas of the ocean in order to protect the stocks.
1.3 The Bill recognizes the intricate balance between plant and animal life that thrives in the Ocean, and aims to implement measures that will conserve India’s marine resources both within her border as well as off the EEZ, and their management for sustainable exploitation for the benefit of the citizens of India.
1.4 This Bill shall provide for conservation and sustainable use of fisheries and other resources in the maritime zones of India, conservation of fishing, fishing activities and fisheries in the maritime zones of India, regulation of all vessels engaged in direct or indirect exploitation of fishery resources in the maritime zones of India.
1.6 This Bill also recognises ;
(i) fishermen communities have been left behind in economic activities and remain backward socially and economically. For the emancipation of these people , all fishermen castes recognized by Government of India in various “Constututional Amendmends” and “Gazette Notifications” shall henceforth be recognized as “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes” and special status given as per provisions in this Act.
(ii) fisher folk have been carrying out fishing activity through non mechanized , traditional means over the entire coastal areas for past thousands of years;
(iii) livelihood and security of the traditional fisher folk becomes paramount while undertaking conservation and management of ocean resources;
(iv) the rights of the fisher folk who have a vital role to play in the very survival of the fishing areas, and in maintaining the sustainability of the ecosystem;
In the light of the above, a Bill shall be enacted by the Parliament in the sixty second year of the Republic of India.
2.1 Short Title and Commencement
(i) This Bill may be called The Marine Fisheries Conservation, Management and Traditional Fisher Folk Welfare Bill, 2010.
(ii) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, in the Official Gazette appoint.
(iii) PROVIDED that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.
(i) “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes” are fishermen castes as recognized in “The Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order” and “The Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order”.
(ii) “Exclusive Economic Zone” (EEZ) means the exclusive economic zone of India as defined under section 7 of the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones of India Act, 1976.
(iii) “fish” means any aquatic animal, whether piscine or not, and includes shell-fish, crustacean, Chelonia, turtle (Chelonian), aquatic mammal (the young, fry, eggs and spawn thereof), holothurians, coelenterates, sea weed, coral (Porifera) and any other aquatic life;
(iv) “Ocean Resources” means all marine life, planktons, mangroves, salt marshes, sea grass meadows and all marine plants and animals.
(i) “fisheries” means all activities related to fishing or the exploitation, conservation and management of marine living resources.
(vi) “Anandromous species” means specific species of fish which spawn in the fresh waters of Indian coastal states like the estuaries in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala etc,, and later migrate to the ocean.
(vii) “ Continental Shelf ” means the sea bed and sub-soil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast, but outside the area of the territorial sea, of the State of India to a depth of 200 metres or beyond that limit. The term also includes “Inner Continental Shelf”, “Mid Continental Shelf” and “Outer Continental Shelf”.
(viii) “ fisheries management plan ” includes any plan, guidelines, policy, order, etc., as notified by the Central Government from time to time, with a view to ensuring sustainable exploitation, development, management and conservation of fisheries, maintenance of law and order in the maritime zones of India and monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing and fishing activity.
(ix) “Conservation and Management” means all the Rules, Regulations, conditions, methods, and other measures intended to (A) Rebuild, restore or maintain, and which are useful in rebuilding and restoring or maintaining any fishery resources and marine environment ; and which are (B) designated to assure that – (i) a supply of food and other products may be obtained on a continuing basis; (ii) Irreversible or long term adverse effects on fishery resources and marine environment are avoided and ; (iii) there shall be multiplicity of options available with respect to future uses of these resources.
(xii) “fishing” or “fishing activity” includes (i) searching for or tracking or trailing or pursuing fish; (ii) attempting to search for or track or trail fish; (iii) catching or taking or killing of fish by any method; (iv) engaging in any other activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the locating, or tracking or trailing or pursuing or catching or taking or killing of fish; (v) any operations at sea (including high seas) directly in support of or linked to or in preparation of any activity described in this definition or for processing of or preservation of any fish; (vi) any purchase of any fish undertaken at sea (including high seas); and (vii) the processing, carrying, preserving, receiving, transporting or transshipping of fish;
(xiii) “economic discard” means fish which are the target of fishery but which are not retained because they are of undesirable size , sex or quality or for other economic reasons.
(xiv) “essential fish habitat” means those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning , breeding, feeding or growth to maturity.
(xv) “Fishing Communities” include all the castes recognized as “Fishing Castes” (inclusive of those castes categorized as Schedule Caste / Schedule Tribes, Backward Class and Most Backward Class) by Government of India and respective State Governments in India’s coastal States in mainland of India as well as the individual or composite group or groups of islands including Andaman & Nicobar and Lakswadeep Islands.
(xvi) “fishing vessel” means any sailing vessel, whether or not fitted with mechanical means of propulsion, which is capable of undertaking fishing. The term ’fishing vessel’ includes `foreign fishing vessel’ and `Indian fishing vessel’.
(xvii) “foreign fishing vessel” means any fishing vessel other than an Indian fishing vessel;
(xviii) “high seas” means the waters that are outside the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone of India, and which do not fall within the exclusive economic zone of any other country.
(xix) ”Indian fishing vessel” means
(i) Fishing vessels registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958or under any other applicable Central Act or any State Act, and which are:
(a) owned wholly by the Government of India or by the Government of any State; or by a corporation established by a Central Act or a Provisional or State Act, or
(b) owned wholly by persons to each of whom any of the following descriptions apply:
(A) a citizen of India; or
(B) a company which is wholly owned by Indian citizen with not less than 51% participation from one among the fishing castes.
(C) a duly registered Firm wherein every partner whereof is a citizen of India and belonging to fishing caste ; or
(D) a registered fisheries cooperative society every member whereof is a citizen of India as well as a member of fishing caste as mentioned at various paragraphs of this Bill ;
Explanation: – For the purpose of this clause “registered cooperative society” means a society registered or deemed to be registered under the Cooperative Societies Act, 1912, or any other law relating to cooperative societies or the time being in force in any State.
(i) Any boat or craft of any type other than those specified under sub-clause (ii) which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify to be an Indian fishing vessel.
(xx) This Act specifically abolishes Foreign Joint Ventures / fully foreign owned ventures in Indian fishing industry with foreign citizens, corporations, society or any other foreign entities.
(xxi) “innocent passage” means passage through the maritime zones of India by foreign fishing vessels and other foreign vessels, that is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security as determined by the Central Government from time to time;
(xxii) “maritime zones of India” means the territorial waters, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone and other maritime zones determined in accordance with the Territorial Waters.
(xxiii) “master” in relation to a vessel, means any person having command or charge of the vessel;
(xxiv) “owner” in relation to a vessel means any person, including any association of persons, whether incorporated or not, by whom the vessel or a share in the vessels is owned;
(xxv) “permit” means a permission granted under this Act;
(xxvi) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(xxvii) “processing” in relation to fishing, includes cleaning, cutting and removal of spines, fins, shells, viscera (guts and other internal soft parts), beheading, filleting, peeling, icing, freezing, canning, salting, smoking, cooking, pickling, drying and otherwise preparing or preserving fish by any other method;
(xxviii) “specified ports” means such ports as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify for the purpose of this Act and which would be the only ports where a foreign fishing vessel can dock;
(xxix) “territorial waters of India” means the territorial waters of India in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and other Maritime Zones of India Act, 1976;
(xxx) “vessel” includes any ship, vessel, fishing vessel, sailing vessel, chase boats, pilot boats, or any vessel of any other description that is capable of fishing or processing or transporting fish, fuel or other supplies from or to a fishing vessel or is otherwise capable of providing logistical or any other support to fishing vessels.
2.3 “Assumptions” and “Purpose” of the Bill
(i) eliminating in a phased manner , the new class of “absentee owners” who have already cornered the bulk of the fish resources and restoring the same back to the fishing communities
(ii) Eliminating gradually Indian corporations and investors who are interested in profits from the sea or foreign companies that may be potentially interested in the ever depleting fishing resources of India.
(iii) With 80% of resources cornered by 20% of the fleet, a long term balancing of this lop sided phenomena, this Bill aims at eliminating this imbalance and restoring to non-mechanized traditional fishing fleet their rightful ownership of the ocean resources that was traditionally held by them.
(iv) The marine resources off the Indian coast including fish and other organisms that dwell in the continental shelf constitute India’s valuable and renewable natural resources. The fishery resources contribute towards food supply, economy and health of the nation.
(v) Several stocks of fishes off India’s coast have declined to a point where their very survival is threatened. Increased fishing pressure by mechanized vessels, trawlers and huge factory vessels in waters within Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as off India’s EEZ is putting at risk the fishery stocks by substantially reducing them so that their survival is threatened. Due to this indiscriminate fishing and the inadequate regulatory and conservation regime, India’s fishery resources are rapidly depleting with a resultant impact on poor coastal communities.
(vi) Massive fishing vessels and foreign fish fleets that clandestinely operate within Indian waters, as well as the waters off Indian EEZ, have contributed enormously to the depletion of India’s ocean resources and have also damaged domestic fishing activities of small fishermen who operate out of coastal villages.
(vii) Fisheries resources are finite and only renewable with proper management. There is an urgent need to place them under a national programme of conservation, management, and revival that would aim to prevent over fishing, and to rebuild over fished stocks, to ensure conservation, to facilitate long term protection of essential fish habitats and to realize the full potential of the Nation’s fishery resources.
(viii) Initiate national programmes for the sustainable development of fisheries that remain under utilized or not utilized by the Indian fishing industry, including bottom fishing in India’s EEZ in order to assure the Indian citizens the benefits from employment generation that might occur out of such Government programmes, food supply and revenue that could be generated thereby.
(ix) Fisheries Management Councils to be set up in every coastal State to integrate ecosystem considerations in fisheries management and to work in tandem with Environment Protection Agencies at State and Central level.
3.0 INHERENT RIGHTS OF TRADITIONAL FISHERMEN COMMUNITIES AND THEIR OWNERSHIP STATUS
3.1 The Marine Fisheries Conservation, Management Bill, 2010, FURTHER recognizes the following ;
(a) the inalienable part that the fishing communities played for thousands and thousands of years by intricately blending their lives with the seas and oceans.
(b) The sustainable way they harvested the fishery and marine resources using naturally available tools like nets made of natural fiber like hemp, cotton etc.. thereby inflicting minimum “collateral damage” to life forms while fishing for desired species.
(c) the indigenous, non- intrusive fishing methods, for living in perfect harmony with the Ocean life and for having preserved its balance from time immemorial, since the advent of civilization.
(d) that fisheries management has socio-economic goals as well as biological conservation roles and the well being of the fishing communities including (i) protection of livelihoods, (ii) rights and well being of fisher - women involved in post harvest and marketing (iii) health and nutrition of the fish eating population, and (iv) trade/market related issues and (v) conservation of Ocean environment.
(e) the need to harmonise and unify the various mechanisms and instruments relevant for fisheries management that lie today under different ministries of the Central Govt or State Governments.
3.2 In line with Governments’ policies aligned with the recognition of Forest and Hill Tribal’s inalienable rights over the forests that they lived for centuries, this Bill recognizes all “fishermen Castes and Tribes” as listed in official gazette notifications, residing in India’s coastal states and its Islands as “Aboriginal Tribes”; AND the seas and Oceans off the Indian coast as their “Traditional Homeland”.
3.3 Any activities in this homeland should be through broad consensus achieved from these “Aboriginal Peoples”. Introduction of any modern technologies in fisheries activities should be only with the approval of these fishing tribes and after conducting detailed impact assessment studies.
3.4 Any kind of Commercial benefits that accrue out of activities in coastal areas; fishing or otherwise should be divided among fishing communities.
3.3 This Bill empowers “Fishing Tribes” to be the sole stakeholders in regulating fishing activities in India’s territorial waters as well as the first 100 nautical miles of the EEZ in line with traditional customs practiced for generations by these people. Management of fisheries shall henceforth be entirely be done in consultation with these fishing communities, with Government; both Union Government and State Governments serving only as technical advisors.
3.4 Under powers empowered under clause (1) of Article 342 of the Constitution of India, the Government of India shall enact a separate Constitution amendment Bill to declare the following fishermen castes as “ Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes” with rights specified at 3.3
3.4.1. ANDRA PRADESH
Angikula kshatriya, Bestha, besthar, Gangaputra, Gangavar, Goondla, Jalari, Koracha, Nayyala, Pattapa, Pali, Vadavalija, Vaddi, Jalkshatriya, Vanyekula Kshatriya(Yannekapu,Vanne Reddi,Palli Kapau,Palli Reddi )
Bhoi, Dhinwar BhoiGadhar Bhoi KhadiBhoi,Khase Bhoi, Zinga Bhoi Pardeshi Bhoi, Raj Bhoi, Dhiwar, DheemarDhimar, Dhivar,Dhevra,Gond, Raj Gond,Koli, Mahadev Koli, Malhar Koli, Donger Koli, Kolcha, Kolga, Tokre Koli, Kirat,Keer, Kewat, Kevat, Kahar, Dhuria Kahar Gondia Kahar,Khairwar, Mallah, Malhar,Machhendra, Machhawa, Nishad, Tindel, Palewar
Dhevara (Arya, Vala, Mukkuva, Mukaya, Bhoi,Mulaya, AravathiMale Araya), Meenugara Manigara, Mogera
Ambiga, Mukkuvena,Bestha, Besthar Mukkuvare,Bunde Besthar Mukayar, Bharika, Barikar, Marakula, Bhoyi,bhovi,Bovi, Mogera, Bheesmakula, Melanta, Gangaputra, Meddera, Gangakula, Machida,, Gange Makkalu Machimar, Gaurimatha Machala, Gangarassur Machava, Goni Kara, Gond, Raj Gond, Mudiraja, Gangamathu, Nayka, Harikanthra Naykara, Jalagera Nayaka, Kabber, Kabbera, Neeraganti, Korach, Nalekera, Koli, Parivara,Parevar, Kahr, Sunagara, Kabbaliga, Sephaliga, Kharvi, Soothkula, Meenugara, Manigara, Thoreya, Mogaveera, Vanyekula Kshatriya(vannekapu, Vannereddi,Palli Reddi ), Siviyar, Siviar
Bhoi, Dhinwar Bhoi Gadhar Bhoi KhadiBhoi, Khase Bhoi, Zinga Bhoi, Pardeshi Bhoi, Raj Bhoi., Dhiwar, Dheemar,Dhimar, Dhivar, Daivar,Koli Dhor, Mahadev Koli, Malhar Koli, Donger Koli, Koleha Kolcha, Kolga, Tokre Koli, Kahar, Dhuria Kahar,Godia Kahar,GondKahar,Kirat, Keer, Kewat, Kevat,Kharwar, Khairwar ,Machhendra, Machhawa,Manzi, Gond, Raj Gond, ., Tindel, Palewar, Manzi, Malhar,Nishad
Dewar, Dhewar, Dhivar, Bhoi. Bhovi, Gond, Gondo, Jalia, Jaliya, Jhalo- Malo, Mala, Zala, Kaibartta, Kaibarta Jalia,Keuta, Kewata, Keute, Kevt, Namdas, Namsudra,Kharwar, Khairwar Khirwar, Tiyar, Tiar, Tior, Koli, Malhar.PUNJAB, Dhewar, Jhimar Jhinwar, Jhiwar, Jhir, Jheer, Kahar, Mallah
Bharatar, Bosthar, Narikanthra, Kharvi, Kebber, Kabbera, Meenugara, Manigara, Mukkavar, Mukkuvar Mukayar, Parivara, Paravar, Meenevar ( Partharaja, ulam, Pattanavar, Sembadavar), Siviyar, Siviar
220.127.116.11 WEST BENGAL
Bind, Baidi, Chaia, Chain, Berchain,Duley, Dewar, Dhewar, Dhiver, Gond, Gondo, Gurrhi, Gonti, Jhalo- Malo, Malo, Kaibarta, Jaliya Kaibarta, Kotal, Keuta, Keweta, Keuta, Kevt, Kewet, Keyot, Keot, Kadma, KolaKharwar,Khirwar, Khairwar, Mallah, Meta, Namdas, Namsudra, Patni, Tiyar, Tiar, Tior, Sardia.
3.5 Rights of Fisher folk
3.5.1 For the purposes of this Bill , the following rights, which secure to the individual or community or both, shall be the rights of those fisher folk who dwell on the coastlands, namely:--
(a) Right to hold and live in the coastal areas under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for fishing for livelihood by a member or members of such family;
(b) Right of ownership and access to areas;
(c) Other community rights of uses or entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
(d) Rights of settlement and conversion of all villages, old habitation, un-surveyed villages and other villages in coastal areas, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages;
(e) Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use;
(f) Rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous District Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of these fisher folk under any traditional or customary law of the concerned fisher folk of any State/UT;
(g) Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
(h) Any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the traditional fisher folk;
(i) Right to in situ rehabilitation including alternative land in cases where the traditional fisher folk have been illegally evicted or displaced from coastal land of any description without receiving their legal entitlement to rehabilitation prior to enaction of this Bill..
(j) Notwithstanding anything contained above, the respective State Governments or Union Territories may provide for establishment of the following facilities managed by the Government, namely:--(i) schools; (ii) dispensary or hospital; (iii) anganwadis; (iv) electric and telecommunication lines; (v) tanks and other minor water bodies; (vi) drinking water supply and water pipelines; (vii) fish auction halls; (viii) fish curing halls; (ix) net mending yards; (x) disaster warning centres; (xi) boat repair and boat building facilities; (xii) crematoria and burial grounds for fisher folk; (xiii) non-conventional source of energy; (xiv) skill up-gradation or vocational training centres; (xv) roads; and (xvi) community centres:
3.5.2 Expenditure towards all the above social / economic commitment would accrue from activities under paragraph 12.2 as well as grants from Government of India / State Governments.
3.5.3 Strengthening of Functions of State/UT Fisheries Department: The State Government shall actively move to strengthen the various Fisheries Departments/Agencies functioning in various states/UTs. The functions of these Fisheries shall be expanded to, inter alia, include:
(i) Establishment of markets for the purchase at fair prices of the catch obtained by fisher folk using traditional means as defined under this Bill;
(ii) Encourage the development of fisheries cooperatives for the purchase of the catch procured through traditional means;
(iii) Specify rates for the purchase of the catch from the fisher folk from time to time;
(iv) Establishment of Ice-plants/Cold-Storage facilities for preservation of catch to the fisher folk;
(v) Provisions for cold chain for transport purposes to markets outside the vicinity of the place of catch to the fisher folk;
(vi) Establishment of other relevant technological inputs such as fish processing units and cleaning facilities etc
(vii) Provision of technical and financial assistance in the form of loans to buy traditional boats and gears and other facilities necessary for fish processing and marketing;
(viii) Provision to provide training and knowledge transfer for enhancing fishing capabilities, processing and marketing;
(ix) Any other functions that may be prescribed by the State Governments from time to time
(x) Provision of effective micro finance to fisherwomen in their fish marketing activities.
CHAPTER - IV
4.0 AUTHORITIES AND PROCEDURE FOR VESTING OF RIGHTS
4.1 Authorities to vest rights in traditional fisher folk and others and procedure thereof
(a) Panchayat Act shall be amended in such a way that all Panchayat that dot the sea shore line shall have 75% representation from “Aboriginal Fishermen Tribes”.
(b) Such Panchayat shall be declared as “Fisher folk Panchayat” and these elections shall be overseen by Election Commission of India.
(c) These Panchayat shall be the authority to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of individual or community rights or both that may be given to the traditional fisher folk within the local limits of its jurisdiction under this Bill, and for preparing a map delineating the area along with a list of attendant rights accruing to the fisher folk of that area under its jurisdiction in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government; and the Panchayat shall then pass a resolution to that effect and thereafter forward a copy of the same to the Sub-Divisional Level Committee.
(d) Every District shall set up a District Level Monitoring Committee (DLMC) comprising of 12 members. Six members of DLMC shall be elected by the Collegium of “ Elected Panchayat Presidents ” . The remaining 6 members to be appointed by the State Government. The tenure of members of DLMG shall be for a period of 5 years.
(e) The tenure of “Chairmanship of DLMC” would be for 1 year period and would be on rotation basis from amongst the 6 elected Panchayat Presidents who will be members of DLMC.
(f) Any person aggrieved by the resolution of the Panchayat may refer a petition to the DLMC and the DLMC shall consider and dispose of such petition: Provided that every such petition shall be referred within sixty days from the date of passing of the resolution by the Panchayat. Provided further that no such petition shall be disposed of against the aggrieved person, unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity to present his case
(c) A State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) shall be constituted through election process with 12 members out of which 6 members would be elected from amongst DLMC. The other 6 members would be appointed by the State Government. The majority ruling by DLMC will be final and binding on all issues concerning coastal communities in any State.
(d) Any person aggrieved by the decision of DLMC may refer a petition to the SLMC within sixty days from the date of decision of the Executive Committee and shall consider and dispose of such petition: Provided that no petition shall be referred directly before the SLMC against the resolution of the Panchayat unless the same has been preferred before and considered by DLMC: Provided further that no such petition shall be disposed of against the aggrieved person, unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity to present his case
(e) The decision of SLMC on the record of rights of fisher folk shall be final and binding
4.2 Roles and Functions of “Fisher Folk Panchayat”
The Principal functions of these “Fisher folk Panchayat” shall, inter alia, include
(a) Registration and Regulation of the number of traditional fishing boats in a particular area delineated by them;
(b) Establishment of dwelling units for all registered traditional fisher folk;
(c) Ensure the preservation and protection of surrounding ecosystems including but not limited to mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, sea weeds etc.
(d) Prevention of Pollution and Land degradation in surrounding areas
(e) Ensure prevention of over fishing in coastal areas by
(i) designating certain periods as fishing holidays and;
(ii) drafting and implementing mesh size regulations for use by fisher folk both traditional and those using mechanised means.
(iii) Obtaining periodic information from local meteorological department/Disaster Management Authority of variations in weather patterns or such Activity that may qualify as natural disasters and alert the fisher folk of the same in a reasonable amount of time;
`(iv) Providing all manner of assistance for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of victims of natural disasters in the area of jurisdiction;
(i) Any other function that the State Government in consultation with the Central Government may prescribe from time to time.
(ii) Collection of revenue a from activities under clause 3.4,
4.3 Establishment of “ Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Conservation” (MFORC)
4.3.1 This Bill mandates the establishment of “Union Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources” with the following mandate (i) Conservation and Management of fisheries and Ocean Resources (ii) trade policies that drive fisheries development, (iii) Registration of all fishing boats using the Merchant Shipping Act, (iv) Administration of Wildlife Protection Act, especially those dealing with Marine and Ocean Resources as well as coastal zones off 200 kilometers from coastline including all water bodies and Rivers (v) Coastal Impact Assessment and Environmental clearances for all industries within 200 kilometers from shore line (vi) and each State Government can manage the fishery policies. )
4.3.2 Department of Ocean Development shall be the “Precursor Department” in MFORC. Other Government Ministries such as (i) Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) (ii) Ministry of Agriculture (iii) Ministry of Shipping (iii) Ministry of Women and Child Development (iv) Ministry of Welfare and Social Justice shall transfer all such subjects and matters concerning coastal development, coastal management, CRZ, environmental clearances, social welfare concerning fisher folk etc to MFORC.
5.1 The State/UT Fisheries Department with appropriate consultation and approval (s) from SLMC will take stringent action to prevent and punish, inter alia, the following actions:
(a) Destruction of Ecosystem by practices that are harmful to the surrounding ecosystem;
(b) Indiscriminate pollution and dumping of solid waste into the coastal waters defined under the Bill;
(c) Destruction of fishing habitats by over-fishing or by dredging or by reclamation or by construction of such structures which affect the fishing and spawning areas;
(d) Destruction of the dwelling units or any part of the coastal village area for those developmental activities which are not sanctioned or permitted by the concerned agencies
5.2 The State Government in consultation with SLMC shall prescribe and levy penalties for all the above acts from time to time which shall be in addition to punishment for the same as prescribed under different statutes and legislations
6.0 POWER TO MAKE RULES
6.1 The State Government in consultation and necessary approvals from SLMC, may, by notification, and subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Bill
6.2 In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:--
(a) Procedural details for implementation of the functions as specified in this Bill.
(b) The procedure for listing and compiling rights and verifying them and preparing a map delineating the area of jurisdiction under each Panchayat for exercise of rights and the manner of preferring a petition to DLMC;
(c) The level of officers and the various relevant departments of the State Government to be appointed as members of DLMC and SLMC.
(d) Any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.
CHAPTER - VII.
7.1 RIGHTS OVER “ TRADITIONAL WATERS ” IN SEAS OFF INDIAN COAST
7.1.1 The Government of India recognizes that fishermen tribes lived in India’s coastal villages from time immemorial and through this Bill , assigns them rights over the first 100 miles of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone to fish with their traditional non-mechanized fishing vessels like “catamaran”, “vallam” etc..
7.1.2 This Bill further bans all kind of mechanized fishing boats from operating (i) In territorial waters (12 miles from coast), Contiguous Zone (extending 24 miles from coastline) and (iii) 100 Miles of EEZ.
7.1.3 The Government shall henceforth associate “Fishermen Aborigin Tribal” representatives in decision making for all economic activities within India’s EEZ that shall impact marine life and the Ocean ecosystem, with which these communities have lived in harmony for thousands of years.
7.1.4 This Bill ensures a total Ban on issue of new permits for mechanized fishing boats, trawlers and factory ships as well as abolition of all foreign Joint Ventures (JVs) in fishing activities within India’s EEZ.
7.2 RESERVATION FOR “FISHERMEN ABORIGINAL TRIBES” in EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, GOVERNMENT JOBS AND SPECIAL RESERVATION IN PRIVATE INDUSTRIES LOCATED WITHIN 200 KILOMETERS OF COASTLINE AND OFFSHORE COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
7.2.1 Reservations in Government Employment
Government of India make necessary amendments to the Constitution to recognize “Fishermen Tribes” as “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes” and reserve 5% of jobs in Government of India and State Governments for these tribes.
7.2.2 Reservations in Indian Navy
Government of India shall make necessary amendments to Indian Defence Act to reserve 20% of jobs in Indian Navy for “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”.
7.2.3 Reservations in Merchant Shipping
Government of India shall make necessary amendments to Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to reserve 20% of the vacancies in Indian flagged Merchant Ships for “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”.
7.2.4 Reservation in Government of India Educational Institutions.
Government of India shall issue necessary notifications to reserve 5 % reservation in all Government funded educational institutions for “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”.
7.2.4 Reservation in Private Sector Jobs in Industries located within 200 Kms of Coast line
GOI shall issue necessary notification for reservation of 5% of jobs in industries that have a minimum turnover of Rs 15 crores annually and located within 200 kms of coast line.
7.2.5 Reservations in Offshore Oil Companies
Oil companies both Government owned as well as those in Private Sector that operate offshore oil / Gas Rigs, pipelines or any associated economic activity shall reserve 10% jobs.
CHAPTER – VIII
8.0 REGULATION OF FISHING IN INDIAN TERRITORIALWATERS AND EXCLUSIVE ECNOMIC ZONE (EEZ)
8.1 Management of Fishing Activities
8.1.1 .Government of India recognizes the fact that mechanized boats and vessels have wreaked destruction on fishing stocks. This Bill is aimed at improving the basis of the decision-making process through sound and transparent scientific advice and increased participation of stakeholders. Coherence with other policies of the Government of India, such as environmental and development policies with accountability and effectiveness.
8.1.2 This Bill shall ensure sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources as well as taking precautionary approach to protect and conserve living aquatic resources, and to minimise the impact of fishing activities on marine eco-systems. This approach will contribute to efficient fishing activities within an economically viable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture industry, providing a fair standard of living for those who depend on fishing activities and taking into account the interests of consumers.
8.1.3 This Bill shall introduce a long-term approach to fisheries management, involving the establishment of multi-annual recovery plans for stocks outside safe biological limits and of multi-annual management plans for other stocks. It is aimed to progressively implement an eco-system-based approach to fisheries management. As part of this approach, the following measures shall take effect immediately on passing of this Bill in the Parliament :
8.2 TOTAL BAN ON FOREIGN VESSELS AND FOREIGN JOINT VENTURES
8.2.1 A total ban is imposed on fishing by foreign vessels as well as vessels owned by individuals, corporation, company or any other entity on a Joint Venture basis with Indian entitities as per provisions under Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishery by Foreign Vessels) Act, 1981 and any other Notifications, Gazettes etc issued by competent authorities of Government of India.
8.2.2 Those foreign vessels as well as Indian vessels operating under a Joint Venture shall be permitted operate up to the validity date of such license OR 18 (eighteen) months from the date of official notification of this act, whichever is earlier.
8.3 TRADITIONAL NON MECHANISED CATAMARAN
8.3.4 Traditional Non–Mechanized Catamaran and non-mechanized sailing boats meant for fishing, shall have exclusive rights to fish in India’s territorial waters as well as the first 100 nautical miles of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
8.3.5 This Act imposes a total ban on fishing by mechanized vessels of “All Categories” within India’s territorial waters (12 Kms from shore line) as well as within the first 100 miles of India’s EEZ.
8.3.6 Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is hereby mandated to fix Global Positioning System (GPS) / GSM – Satellite communication Module in every traditional Non-Mechanized Catamaran.
8.3.7 MoEF shall bear the cost towards fixing of these modules from revenues generated from environment tax as highlighted at paragraph 12.2 of this Bill.
8.3.8 Having enjoyed unhindered access for thousands and thousands of years , over the Ocean overlooking Indian subcontinent and its Islands by India’s traditional fishermen, this Bill empowers these fishermen to operate in a unhindered way, their Non-Mechanized fishing catamaran, to operate all over Indian territorial waters, India’s EEZ and beyond to conduct fishing activities in their traditional fishing “Grounds”.
8.4 MECHANISED FISHING VESSELS WITHIN 8 METERS LENGTH
8.4.1 Licenses issued for this category of vessels shall automatically lapse on expiry date or 2 years from enacting of this Bill, which ever is earlier.
8.4.2 New licenses would be issued by respective State Government’s upon consultation with DLMCs.
8.4.3 In order to avoid over exploitation by “Commercial Interests” of the fishery resources, this Bill mandates that in future, permits issued for mechanized fishing vessels of this category should be issued to members of “Fishermen Tribes” only and not for rank outsiders who enter this trade with the sole purpose of “commercial exploitation” of depleting fishing resources. This process shall ensure sustainable fishing and the rush to make profits by “over exploitation” of fishery resources by marina products exporting companies.
8.4.4 The Government shall ensure that in the next five years time, from enacting this Bill in the Parliament, “Outside Ownership” of these Mechanised fishing boats are phased out and transferred / reissued to members of “Fisher Folk Aboriginal Tribes”.
8.4.5 All mechanized fishing vessels of this category shall mandatorily fix Global Positioning System (GPS) certified by ISRO, in addition to radio communication modules .
8.4.6 MFORC shall set up monitoring Units in coordination with Indian Coast Guard to plot the activities of these vessels to prevent them from transgressing into waters reserved for traditional non-mechanized catamaran boats, within the 12 nautical miles of territorial waters as well as the 100 nautical miles of the EEZ.
8.4.7 First three violations shall attract a fine of Rs 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 respectively. Any further violation by the vessel shall result in cancellation of license and banning of all operating personnel from fishing for a period of five years, including impounding and confiscation of the fishing vessel.
8.4.8 Every order granting or rejecting an application for the grant of a permit shall be in writing.
8.4.9 A permit granted under this Bill :
(a) shall be in such form as may be prescribed;
(b) shall be valid for such areas, for such period, for such method of fishing and for such purposes as may be specified therein, and in rules made in this regard;
(c) may be renewed from time to time; and
(d) shall be subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed under rules made under this Bill , such other additional conditions and restrictions as may be specified in the permits, and any fisheries management plan or plans.
8.4.11 A permit granted under this Bill shall at all times be placed onboard of the fishing vessel and shall be produced by the master of the vessel upon boarding and during the search of the vessel under this Bill ;
8.4.12 A permit granted under this Bill shall be non-transferable and cannot be assigned to any third party or third party interest created in respect thereof, except with the prior written permission of the Central Government which may be provided under rules prescribed in this regard;
8.4.13 A person holding a permit under this section shall ensure that every person employed or otherwise engaged by him complies, in the course of such employment or engagement with the provisions of this Bill or any rule or order or any fisheries management plan made there under and the conditions of such permit.
8.4.14. The Central Government may withhold the issuance of permits, and/or alter the conditions of a permit issued, having regard to matters relating to protection of national security of India, maintenance of law and order in the maritime zones of India or any other matter relating to public interest.
8.4.15 The Central Government may, through notification in this regard, exempt a Government entity, or corporation or any class of vessel(s) from the requirement of a permit.
8.4.16 State Governments in consultation with “fishermen Tribes” who operate this category of mechanized vessels shall fix 5 months in a year for fishing operations, the rest of the month should be “off season” for operation of mechanized boats for allowing the “fish stocks” to recover for the rest of the year.
8.4.17 This Bill also bans pair trawling of vessels within Indian EEZ on order to protect over exploitation of the fishing resources and destruction of juvenile fishes in large scale.
8.4.18 Similarly all fishing activity is banned in India’s EEZ during November of every year in order to allow fish to breed.
8.4.19 All mechanized boats that operate in EEZ should return every day by 12 noon, if they do not return a ban of 7 days shall be imposed for the first violation, 1 month for second and 3 months for 3rd violation. Any violations beyond the 3rd one shall resulf in revoking the Fishing Permit for the boat.
8.5 MECHANISED FISHING BETWEEN 8 AND 15 METERS IN LENGTH
8.5.1 This Bill imposes a summary ban on all kind of fishing vessels beyond a length of 15 meters, within India’s territorial waters, EEZ.
8.5.2 This category would be permitted to fish only outside India’s EEZ. However they have to comply with conventions and Agreements signed by the Government of India as a result of UN General Assembly Resolutions.
8.5.2 Revenue Authorities in coastal districts ( OR any other entity as designated by Government of India) and all Indian Islands are authorized to issue Smart Card Ownership Permits to all such fishing vessels beyond 8 Meters length but within 15 meters.
8.5.3 These mechanized fishing boats, shall be permitted to fish beyond India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, i.e. beyond 200 miles of the Indian coast line.
8.5.4 All mechanized fishing vessels of this category shall mandatorily fix Global Positioning System (GPS) duly approved by ISRO. Such GPS units should also bear a signature on the ownership status of the respective vessels. In addition these vessels shall have all communication and navigation equipment as prescribed by Ministry of Shipping, Government of India.
8.5.5 MoEF shall set up monitoring Units in coordination with Indian Coast Guard to plot the activities of these vessels to prevent them from transgressing into waters reserved for traditional non-mechanized catamaran boats.
8.5.6 First three violations shall attract a fine of Rs 50,000, Rs 100,000 and Rs 250,000 respectively. Any further violation by the vessel shall result in cancellation of license, including impounding and confiscation of the fishing vessel.
8.5.7 Every application undershall be made in such form and shall be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed.
8.5.8 Every order granting or rejecting an application for the granting of a permit shall be in writing.
8.5.9 A permit granted under this Bill :
(a) shall be in such form as may be prescribed;
(b) shall be valid for such areas, for such period, for such method of fishing and for such purposes as may be specified therein, and in rules made in this regard;
(c) may be renewed from time to time; and
(d) shall be subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed under rules made under this Bill , such other additional conditions and restrictions as may be specified in the permits, and any fisheries management plan ;
8.5.10 A permit granted under this Bill shall at all times be placed onboard of the fishing vessel and shall be produced by the master of the vessel upon boarding and during the search of the vessel as per this Bill;
(i) A permit granted under this Bill shall be non-transferable and cannot be assigned to any third party or third party interest created in respect thereof, except with the prior written permission of the Central Government which may be provided under rules prescribed in this regard;
(ii) A person holding a permit under this section shall ensure that every person employed or otherwise engaged by him complies, in the course of such employment or engagement with the provisions of this Bill or any rule or order or any fisheries management plan made there under and the conditions of such permit.
(iii) The Central Government may withhold the issuance of permits, and/or alter the conditions of a permit issued under this Bill having regard to matters relating to protection of national security of India, maintenance of law and order in the maritime zones of India or any other matter relating to public interest.
(iv) The Central Government may, through notification in this regard, exempt a Government entity, or corporation or any class of vessel(s) from the requirement of a permit.
8.6 Cancellation or Suspension of a Permit
(i) The Central Government may cancel or suspend a permit granted under this Bill if there is reasonable cause to believe that
(a) there has been a violation of any of the provisions of this Bill , or
(b) there has occurred a contravention of the provisions of any permit or any conditions or restrictions specified in any, permit, or of any rules made under this Bill , or of any fisheries management plan, or
(c) that the permit or any renewal thereof has been issued on false or erroneous information.
(ii) Before any permit is cancelled, or suspended under sub-section (1) the holder of the permit shall be given reasonable opportunity of showing cause why the permit should not be cancelled or suspended, as the case may be. PROVIDED that this sub-section shall not apply where the Central Government is satisfied that, for reasons to be recorded in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to give to the holder of the permit an opportunity for showing cause.
(iii) Every person whose permit has been canceled or suspended under shall immediately after such suspension or cancellation, stop fishing or undertaking the relevant fishing activity in respect of which the permit had been given and shall not resume such fishing or fishing activity, as the case may be, until such order has been revoked in writing.
(iv) The Central Government may also cancel a permit issued under this Bill, having regard to matters relating to protection of national security of India, maintenance of law and order in the maritime zones of India or any other matter relating to public interest.
(v) Every holder of a permit which is suspended or cancelled shall, immediately after such suspension or cancellation, surrender such permit as the case may be, to the Central Government.
8.7 Entry of Vessel without Permit
Every vessel that enters any of the maritime zones of India without a valid permit granted under this Bill , shall ensure that its fishing gear and equipment is, at all times and for such period of time as it is in such maritime zone, kept stowed in the prescribed manner.
8.8 Regulation of Scientific Research
Central Government may, through a permission issued in writing, permit a vessel to be used for fishing within any maritime zone of India for the purposes of carrying out any scientific research or investigation or for any experimental fishing in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.
MANAGEMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES
AND RIGHTS OF COASTAL FISHING COMMUNITIES
9.0 MANAGEMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCES PRINCIPLES FOR RESOURCE ALLOCATION
(i) This Bill mandates, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to set up “Branch Stations” in every Coastal State as well as in Port Blair, Kavaratt and any other coastal areas / islands as deemed fit from time to time.
(ii) Within 18 months from enactment of this Bill , NIO shall come out with “Capacity Mapping” of fishing resources in the first 100 miles of EEZ which is being exclusively reserved for Non-Mechanized traditional fishing vessels.
(iii) Whereas traditional non-mechanized fishing boats shall not have any “qota system” or “Permits” for fishing, this Bill introduces a “quota system” for mechanized boats and ships of all categories.
(iv) Within 36 months from the date of this Bill, resource allocation for mechanized boats, trawlers and factory ships would be determined and fresh permits would be issued with “permissible quotas”. Such allocation would be done with concurrence of “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”.
(iv) “Eco-system Approach” as developed by the FAO along with “precautionary” principles would be the guiding principle that NIO would follow on the matter of resource allocation.
9.1 Application of the “ Principle of Subsidiarity”
(i) This Bill recognizes the “Principle of Subsidiarity” ie.. nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. This principle, when applied to the fishing fleet, means that resources that can be caught by smaller and less powerful units should not be caught by the larger or more powerful units. It means that larger and more powerful fishing boats and gears should be permitted only if the less powerful units cannot harvest the resources up to permissible limits.
(ii) In compliance with the above principle, this Bill mandates ;
(a) Elimination of all kinds of mechanized boats, trawlers and factory ships in the first 100 miles of EEZ.
(b) A total freeze in issuing of fresh “Permits” for mechanized fishing vessels of all categories.
(c) Progressive reduction in the trawl fleet and the consequent increase in the access of resources to the small motorized fleet of 8 meters and less in the last 100 Miles of Indian EEZ.
(d) Complete ban on large industrial vessels of 25 tonnes – 60 HP capacity and above within 3 years from passing of this Bill in the Parliament or the lapse of existing permits for such vessels, whichever is earlier.
(e) Decommissioning of large vessels to go concomitant to issue of permits for “owner operated” indigenous “Thoothoor Boats” for long lines and gillnets fishing within the entire stretch of EEZ .
9.2 Regulation of “Factory Ships”, Trawlers and Vessels of 25 tonnes or 60 HP Capacity
(i) This Bill recognizes the fact that the entire mechanized fleet requires tough and rigorous regulation and the following shall take effect immediately on passing of this Bill in the Parliament ;
(ii) Ministry of Fishing to appoint “Chief Fishing Inspector” (CFI) with judicial powers for each of the coastal states and in Port Blair and Kavaratti.
(iii) Every 50 sq km of EEZ beyond 100 Miles (the first 100 miles reserved for non-mechanized fishing vessels) shall have a “Fishing Inspector”.
(iv) A patrol-cum-attack boat shall be assigned to each “Fishing Inspector” (FI) and the boat under overall command of an Officer from the “Coast Guard” or “Indian Navy”.
(v) The FI shall report directly to the CFI for violations in (a) number of vessels operating within the zone (b) compliance for size, HP, type and quantum of gear, limited areas of operation, limited period of operation, maintenance of log books, etc.,
(vi) Non motorized catamarans shall be self regulated by “fishing Ombudsman” to be appointed by each fishing village. Such “fishing Ombudsman” shall work in close coordination with CFI to ensure sustainable fishing within these craft as well especially those related to deployment of destructive gears.
9.3 . Owner-Operator Principle and limiting boat ownership
(i) This Bill recognizes the principle of “owner – operator “ the same way “land to the tiller” policy that guided Government of India’s agrarian policies aimed at elimination of absentee land-lords.
(ii) Henceforth “fisheries” shall not be considered as an investor oriented sector, but one that would be “owner-operated” and Government shall assist “fishermen aborigine tribes” financial assistance in gradually making the fishing fleet “owner operated”.
(iii) “Permits” for fishing shall henceforth be given to members of “Fishermen Aborigine Tribes” and a separate fund shall be created by Government of India to finance purchase of mechanized fishing boats by these people.
(iv) This Bill proposes elimination of “multiple ownership” within 3 years from the date of issue of official notification of this Act by the Government.
(v) This Bill imposes a total ban on “Multiple ownership” of mechanized fishing vessel, subject to the condition that a person will not be allowed to own more than one boat.
(vi) The aim of this Bill is also to progressively decrease the fleet strength to make fishing sustainable with a long term goal to make available fishing resources for the people of India.
9.4 Reservation of “Ownership Permits” for “Fishermen Aborigine Tribes”
Recognition of the historical right of the traditional marine “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes” of India, henceforth “Fishing Permits” shall be issued exclusively to members of the tribes as mentioned in this Bill.
9.5 Women folk in down stream trading of fish
(i) This Bill recognizes the role played by fisherwomen in post-harvest activities and fish-vending.
(ii) Management plans and resource allocation policies of the Government shall henceforth be geared towards addressing issues related to the fisherwomen and the role played by them in the entire fishing industry value chain. The Bill proposes the following measures :
(a) NABARD and other Public Sector banks to extend “Micro-Financing” facilities aimed at the fisher women belonging to “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”
(b) MPEDA to be the nodal agency to coordinate welfare measures for fisherwomen.
(c ) MPEDA Act to be amended to include 50% reservations in marine processing units for “fishermen Aboriginal tribe” women.
(d) Ministry of Welfare to introduce centrally available welfare schemes for Tribal women to fisher women as well.
9.6 Sharing of resources with neighbours—reciprocal access to neighbouring countries:
9.6.1 An Inter-Governmental Fisheries Council to be set up with members from Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and other related agencies of Government of India to ensure international cooperation in fisheries management of India’s fisheries resources. This Inter-Governmental Council shall address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and other fishing practices by foreign vessels operating outside India’s EEZ. The Council shall also support and encourage the implementation and enforcement of international fishery agreements for conservation and management of highly migratory species, and to encourage the negotiation and implementation of additional such agreements if necessary.
9.6.2 The Government of India takes cognizance of 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), that requires nation States to take conservation measures to protect the living resources of the high seas, (articles 116, 117, 118, 119, 120), to co-operate and enter into negotiations with "States whose nationals exploit identical living resources, or different living resources in the same area," (article 118); "to maintain or restore populations of harvested species at levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield, as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors," (article 119); and to conserve and manage marine mammals in the high seas (article 120).
9.6.3 The Government of India also recognizes that UNCLOS subjects the freedom of fish on the high seas to "treaty obligations" (article 116 (a)) and "the rights and duties as well as the interests of coastal States" as provided for in provisions dealing with straddling stocks (article 63(2)), highly migratory species (article 64), marine mammals (article 65), anadromous stocks (article 66) and catadromous species (article 67). In order to claim a right to fish on the high seas a State must fulfill the conditions specified.
9.6.4 This Act also takes into account “The Langkawi Declaration” adopted by Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in October 1989, which committed member States to discourage and restrict non-sustainable fisheries and to seek to ban on “Tangle Net” and “Pelagic Driftnet” fishing.
CHAPTER - X.
10.0 ACTION TO STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL FISHERY MANAGEMENT
10.1 CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF FISH STOCKS
The Government of India, shall take actions to improve the effectiveness of international fishery management organizations in conserving and managing fish stocks in EEZ and in international waters off India . These actions shall include—
(i) urging international fishery management organizations to which the India is a member—
(a) to incorporate multilateral market-related measures against member or non-member governments whose vessels engage in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing;
(b) to seek adoption of lists that identify fishing vessels and vessel owners engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing that can be shared among all members and other international fishery management organizations;
(c) to seek international adoption of a centralized vessel monitoring system in order to monitor and document capacity in fleets of all nations involved in fishing in areas under an international fishery management organization’s jurisdiction;
(d) to increase use of observers and technologies needed to monitor compliance with conservation and management measures established by the organization, including vessel monitoring systems and automatic identification systems; and
(e) to seek adoption of stronger port state controls in all nations, particularly those nations in whose ports vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing land or transship fish;
(ii) urging international fishery management organizations to which India is a member, as well as all members of those organizations, to adopt and expand the use of market related measures to combat illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, including
(a) import prohibitions, landing restrictions, or other market-based measures needed to enforce compliance with international fishery management organization measures, such as quotas and catch limits;
(b) import restrictions or other market-based measures to prevent the trade or importation of fish caught by vessels identified multilaterally as engaging in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing; and
(c) catch documentation and certification schemes to improve tracking and identification of catch of vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, including advance transmission of catch documents to ports of entry; and
(iii) urging other nations at bilateral, regional, and international levels, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and the World Trade Organization to take all steps necessary, consistent with international law, to adopt measures and policies that will prevent fish or other living marine resources harvested by vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing from being traded or imported into their nation or territories.
10.2 ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, OR UNREGULATED FISHING.
10.2.1 IDENTIFICATION.—The Government of India shall identify, and report to relevant international organizations including WTO, a nation, if fishing vessels of that nation are engaged, or have been engaged at any point during the preceding 2 years, in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing—
(i) the relevant international fishery management organization has failed to implement effective measures to end the illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing activity by vessels of that nation or the nation is not a party to, or does not maintain cooperating status with, such organization; or
(ii) where no international fishery management organization exists with a mandate to regulate the fishing activity in question.
10.2.2 NOTIFICATION.— Similarly Government of India shall prepare a detailed report on the violation and forward this repot to relevant International Fishing bodies illegal use of Driftnets by Trawlers and factory ships and also notify that nation of such identification, through Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
10.2.3 CONSULTATION.—No later than 60 days after submitting a reports of such violation by fishing vessel the following measures shall be initiated forthwith ;
(i) notify nations listed in the report of the requirements of this section;
(ii) initiate consultations for the purpose of encouraging such nations to take the appropriate corrective action with respect to the offending activities of their fishing vessels identified in the report; and
(iii) notify any relevant international fishery management organization of the actions taken by India under this section.
10.2.4 CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE
(i) CERTIFICATION.—The Government of India shall establish a procedure, consistent with the provisions of international treaties, for determining if an identified nation has taken appropriate corrective action with respect to the offending activities of its fishing vessels identified in the report submitted by India. The certification procedure shall provide for notice and an opportunity for comment by any such nation. Within 90 days from submission of relevant report, Ministry of External Affairs shall convey to all Regional Ocean and Fishery Resources Management Boards (ROFRMB) the following;
(A) whether the government of each nation identified under various subsection(s) has provided documentary evidence that it has taken corrective action with respect to the offending activities of its fishing vessels identified in the report; or
(B) whether the relevant international fishery management organization has implemented measures that are effective in ending the illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing activity by vessels of that nation.
(ii) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE.—The Government of India may establish a procedure for certification, on a shipment-by-shipment, shipper-by-shipper, or other basis of fish or fish products from a vessel of a harvesting nation not certified under paragraph
(1) if the Government of India determines that—
(A) the vessel has not engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing under an international fishery management agreement to which the India is a party; or
(B) the vessel is not identified by an international fishery management organization as participating in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing Activities.
(iii) EFFECT OF CERTIFICATION
(a) IN GENERAL.—The provisions of this Act shall apply to any nation identified under relevant subsection that has not been certified by the Government of India under this subsection, or for which the Government of India has issued a negative certification under this subsection; but shall not apply to any nation identified under this subsection for which the Government of India has issued a positive certification under this subsection.
(i) to the extent that such provisions would apply to sport fishing equipment or to fish or fish products not managed under the applicable international fishery agreement; or
(ii) if there is no applicable international fishery agreement, to the extent that such provisions would apply to fish or fish products caught by vessels not engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing.
10.3 ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, OR UNREGULATED FISHING DEFINED.—
10.3.1 IN GENERAL.—In this Bill the term ‘illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing’ has the meaning establish.
(i) GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO DEFINE TERM WITHIN LEGISLATIVE GUIDELINES.— Within 3 months after the date of enactment of this Bill, the Government of India shall publish a definition of the term ‘illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing’ for purposes of this Bill .
(ii) GUIDELINES.—The Government of India shall include in the definition, at a minimum—
(A) fishing activities that violate conservation and management measures required under an international fishery management agreement to which the India is a party, including catch limits or quotas, capacity restrictions, and by catch reduction requirements;
(B) over-fishing of fish stocks shared by India, for which there are no applicable international conservation or management measures or in areas with no applicable international fishery management organization or agreement, that has adverse impacts on such stocks; and
(C) fishing activity that has an adverse impact on seamounts, hydrothermal vents, and cold water corals located beyond national jurisdiction, for which there are no applicable conservation or management measures or in areas with no applicable international fishery management organization or agreement.
10.3.2 AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Government of India for fiscal years 2010 through 2015 such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.
10.4 EQUIVALENT CONSERVATION MEASURES
10.4.1 IDENTIFICATION.—The Government of India shall identify, and list in the report , a nation if—
(i) fishing vessels of that nation are engaged, or have been engaged during the preceding calendar year in fishing activities or practices;
(A) in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that result in by catch of a protected living marine resource; or
(B) beyond the exclusive economic zone of the India that result in by catch of a protected living marine resource shared by the India;
(ii) the relevant international organization for the conservation and protection of such resources or the relevant international or regional fishery organization has failed to implement effective measures to end or reduce such bycatch, or the nation is not a party to, or does not maintain cooperating status with, such organization; and
(iii) the nation has not adopted a regulatory program governing such fishing practices designed to end or reduce such by catch that is comparable to that of the India, taking into account different conditions.
10.4.2 CONSULTATION AND NEGOTIATION.—The Government of India, shall—
(i) notify, as soon as possible, other nations whose vessels engage in fishing activities or practices described in subsection (a), about the provisions of this section and this Bill;
(ii) initiate discussions as soon as possible with all foreign governments which are engaged in, or which have persons or companies engaged in, fishing activities or practices described in subsection (a), for the purpose of entering into bilateral and multilateral treaties with such countries to protect such species;
(iii) seek agreements calling for international restrictions on fishing activities or practices described in sub-section (a) through the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Committee on Fisheries, and appropriate international fishery management bodies; and
(iv) initiate the amendment of any existing international treaty for the protection and conservation of such species to which the India is a party in order to make such treaty consistent with the purposes and policies of this section.
10.4.3 CONSERVATION CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE.—
(i) DETERMINATION.—The Government of India shall establish a procedure consistent with the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, India Code, for determining whether the government of a harvesting nation identified under this Bill
(a) has provided documentary evidence of the adoption of a regulatory program governing the conservation of the protected living marine resource that is comparable to that of India, taking into account different conditions, and which, in the case of pelagic long line fishing, includes mandatory use of circle hooks, careful handling and release equipment, and training and observer programs; and
(b) has established a management plan containing requirements that will assist in gathering species-specific data to support international stock assessments and conservation enforcement efforts for protected living marine resources.
(ii) PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENT.—The procedure established by the Government of India, shall include notice and opportunity for comment by any such nation.
(iii) CERTIFICATION.—The Government of India shall certify to the Parliament within six months from enactment of this Bill , and biennially thereafter whether each such nation has provided the documentary evidence described in above and established a management plan.
(iv) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURE.—The Government of India shall establish a procedure for certification, on a shipment-by-shipment, shipper-by-shipper, or other basis of fish or fish products from a vessel of a harvesting nation not certified under this Bill if the Government of India determines that such imports were harvested by practices that do not result in by catch of a protected marine species, or were harvested by practices that—
(A) are comparable to those of India, taking into account different conditions, and which, in the case of pelagic long line fishing, includes mandatory use of circle hooks, careful handling and release equipment, and training and observer programs; and
(B) include the gathering of species specific data that can be used to support international and regional stock assessments and conservation efforts for protected living marine resources.
(C) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE.—To the greatest extent possible consistent with existing authority and the availability of funds, the Government of India shall—
(i) provide appropriate assistance to nations identified by the Government of India under this Bill and international organizations of which those nations are members to assist those nations in qualifying for certification.
(ii) undertake, where appropriate, cooperative research activities on species statistics and improved harvesting techniques, with those nations or organizations;
(iii) encourage and facilitate the transfer of appropriate technology to those nations or organizations to assist those nations in qualifying for certification under this Bill and
(iv) provide assistance to those nations or organizations in designing and implementing appropriate fish harvesting plans.
10.4.4 PROTECTED LIVING MARINE RESOURCE DEFINED.—In this section the term ‘protected living marine resource’—
(I) means non-target fish, sea turtles, or marine mammals that are protected under India law or international agreement, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Shark Finning Prohibition Bill, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna; but
(II) does not include species, except sharks, managed under the Atlantic Tunas Convention , or any international fishery management agreement.
10.4.5 AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—These are authorized to be appropriated to the Government of India for fiscal years 2010 through 2015 such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.
10.5 INTERNATIONAL MONITORING AND COMPLIANCE.
10.5.1 IN GENERAL.—The Government of India may undertake activities to promote improved monitoring and compliance for high seas fisheries, or fisheries governed by international fishery management agreements, and to implement the requirements of this title.
10.5.2 SPECIFIC AUTHORITIES.—In carrying out as per this Bill, the Government of India may—
(i) share information on harvesting and processing capacity and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on the high seas, in areas covered by international fishery management agreements, and by vessels of other nations within the India exclusive economic zone, with relevant law enforcement organizations of foreign nations and relevant international organizations;
(ii) further develop real time information sharing capabilities, particularly on harvesting and processing capacity and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
(iii) participate in global and regional efforts to build an international network for monitoring, control, and surveillance of high seas fishing and fishing under regional or global agreements;
(iv) support efforts to create an international registry or database of fishing vessels, including by building on or enhancing registries developed by international fishery management organizations;
(v) enhance enforcement capabilities through the application of commercial or governmental remote sensing technology to locate or identify vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing on the high seas, including encroachments into the exclusive economic zone by fishing vessels of other nations;
(vi) provide technical or other assistance to developing countries to improve their monitoring, control, and surveillance capabilities; and
(vii) support coordinated international efforts to ensure that all large-scale fishing vessels operating on the high seas are required by their flag State to be fitted with vessel monitoring systems no later than December 31, 2011, or earlier if so decided by the relevant flag State or any relevant international fishery management organization.
10.6 NATIONAL FISHERY PROGRAM FOR CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
10.6.1 IN GENERAL.—Any fishery management plan prepared, and any regulation promulgated to implement any such plan, pursuant to this title shall be consistent with the following national standards for fishery conservation and management:
(i) Conservation and management measures shall prevent over fishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the India fishing industry.
(ii) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.
(iii) To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit through out its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.
(iv) Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various India fishermen, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (C) carried out in such a manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.
(v) Conservation and management measures shall, where practicable, consider efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources; except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as its sole purpose.
(vi) Conservation and management measures shall take into account and allow for variations among, and contingencies in, fisheries, fishery resources, and catches.
(vii) Conservation and management measures shall, where practicable, minimize costs and avoid unnecessary duplication.
(viii) Conservation and management measures shall, consistent with the conservation requirements of this Bill (including the prevention of over-fishing and rebuilding of over fished stocks), take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities by utilizing economic and social data, the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on such communities.
(ix) Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, (A) minimize by catch and (B) to the extent by catch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality of such by catch.
(x) Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea.
10.6.2 GUIDELINES.—The Government of India shall establish advisory guidelines (which shall not have the force and effect of law), based on the national standards, to assist in the development of fishery management plans.
CHAPTER – XI
11 CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND FISHERY RESOURCES
11.1 CONSERVATION INTEGRAL TO MARINE ECOLOGY
11.1.1 .The Government of India recognizes that fisheries resources could no longer sustain in a rapid and often uncontrolled exploitation and development trajectory as exemplified by the growth of mechanized fishing in Indian coastal waters. There is an urgent need for new approaches to fisheries management embracing conservation and environmental considerations.
11.1.2 The Government is aware of the situation that has been aggravated by unregulated fisheries on the high seas, in some cases involving straddling of highly migratory fish species, which occur within and outside EEZs, are becoming a matter of increasing concerns.
11.1.3 The Government recognizes the fact that Gill nets that were made of nylon, replaced cotton and hemp nets used traditionally by the fishermen tribes of India from time immemorial. These policies were put into place to aid deep-sea fishing. However, boats with nylon nets ended up fishing in territorial waters, since deep-sea fishing was more expensive and riskier. This kind of development resulted in two extreme sectors: the modernized trawler boats, and the traditional fishermen, using catamarans and vallams.
11.1.4 The Government also recognizes the fact that mechanized trawlers which scrape the seabed and bring up juvenile fish and fish eggs while simultaneously destroying natural formations, which facilitate fish breeding, use active gears and have higher capacity to catch fish and thereby threatening the depletion of fisheries stocks that is the livelihood of traditional fishermen.
11.1.5 With their traditional knowledge of the sea and its environment, artisanal fishermen tribes harvest the marine resources in a moderate scale. The craft and gear deployed are the most appropriate to suit the environment and these were developed by the fishermen tribes themselves over centuries of experience and skill. The catamarans, small canoes, big canoes, vallams and different gears were all results of traditional innovations to meet the dynamics of tropical waters, multi-species, fish behaviour and seasonal changes.
11.1.6 Industrial fishing on a large scale, involving foreign vessels in Indian waters since 1970s, has resulted in the established a massive Deep Sea Fleet based out of port cities like Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Cochin etc. on the east and west coast. Starting with six vessels in 1970s, the strength of this fleet has gone up to thousands as of now. These vessels are owned mostly by foreign companies in the form of Joint Ventures with Indian entities.
11.1.7 India’s fisheries slowly started declining since 1970s with the resultant low productivity of the Indian EEZ beyond 50 m depth, coupled with lack of scientific knowledge of its marine resources and behavioral pattern of the fish stock in different seasons, has induced the industrial vessels meant for deep-sea fishing to poach in the inshore waters.
11.1.8 The Government of India also recognizes the fact that :
(i) All over the Indian coastline this encroachment of foreign vessels into the fishing area meant for traditional and small mechanized craft has generated conflict situations and heavy losses to the traditional fish workers in terms of depleting fish catch and destruction of fishing craft and gear.
(ii) There is no all India policy for fishery management - the Centre handles deep sea and the states deal with coastal fishing.
(iii) State Governments have tried to conserve fish population by resorting to command and control methods- dictating periods and time of fishing, imposing bans, specifying size of nets and kind of gear. The following examples give an idea about the command and control methods that have been previously and currently toyed with:
• Setting apart inshore waters up to a depth of 20 m for the exclusive use of the traditional fishermen.
• Ban on the use of certain methods of fishing. For instance, in 1993, the Supreme Court banned the process of bottom trawling in the monsoon seasons.
• In Goa, in 2000, all licenses of trawlers registered with the fisheries department of Goa were suspended. However, this could not be sustained on along term basis.
• A 45-day ban on the east coast of India is in place.
• Banning of midnight trawling in certain parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
11.1.9 This Bill also takes into account the following initiatives that straddle the livelihood issues of traditional Indian fishermen tribes ;
(i) The Majumdar Committee (1976) Report that studied the situation regarding conflicts between traditional and modern workers and proposed the Marine Fishing Regulation Act to be passed by Parliament, and suggested a seasonal ban on trawlers.
(ii) New Deep Sea Fishing Policy (1991) The policy involved three schemes - leasing out of foreign fishing vessels to operate in the Indian EEZ, engaging foreign fishing vessels for test fishing and forming joint ventures between foreign companies and Indian companies on 49:51 equity basis in deep sea fishing, processing and marketing. Government of India started giving licenses to joint venture, lease and test fishing vessels. This policy decision led millions of artisanal fishworkers to utter poverty and destruction of social stability amongst fishermen tribal communities.
(iii) The Murari Committee (1995) recommended inclusion of a moratorium on renewal, extension or new licenses to joint venture/ charter/ lease/ test fishing vessels and cancellation of existing licenses, upgradation of the skills of the fishing community to enable them to exploit deep sea resources, a monsoon ban on trawling, fishing regulations in the entire EEZ, and separate areas for the exploitation of vessels below 20m length, and those above.
11.1.10 Some State Government Policies
(A) The Tamil Nadu Marine Fisheries Act, 1983 formulated to regulate fishing activities, protect interest of different sections, conserve fish and resolve law and order at sea. The Acts call for the reservation of three nautical miles to traditional fishermen, beyond that mechanized boats to carry operations, prescribes that mechanized fishing boats to leave only after 5 am and come back not later than 9 pm and regulates gear and mesh size.
(B) Kerala passed the Marine Fishing Regulation Act in 1980 based on the recommendations of the Majumdar Committee and banned trawlers during the monsoon period June-August in 1981. But the implementation of the law has been lax. Even the recommendations of the Babu Paul Commission, including the seasonal ban on trawling up to ten kilometers were not implemented.
(C) The Talwar Committee, appointed to enquire into the matter pertaining to conflict between the two sectors- traditional and mechanized, asked for a reduction of number of existing 5000 trawlers in Kerala to 1145.
(D) Several other states, which banned trawling for different periods, causing problems regarding encroachment from other states, then came together to implement a uniform ban along the west coast during the monsoon months.
11.2 INTEGERATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT (ICZM)
11.2.1 OBJECTIVES OF ICZM
(A) This Act recognizes the fact that Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is an integral part of management and conservation of India’s deep sea ocean resources. That
(i) ICZM is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones.
(ii) ICZM covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation.
(iii) ICZM uses the informed participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take Actions towards meeting these objectives.
(iv) ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, all within the limits set by natural dynamics.
(v) 'Integrated' in ICZM refers to the integration of objectives and also to the integration of the many instruments needed to meet these objectives.
(vi) ICZM means integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It means integration of the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory, in both time and space.
(vii) ICZM to be a key element for the sustainable development of these zones and the role of fishing tribes who populate these ICZM is recognized and their role in bringing stability to these zones exemplified by their practices over 1000s of years is recognized by this Act.
(B) The Act recognizes the important role played by coastal communities in maintaining the ecological equilibrium of coastal areas and hence forth all ICZM Committees both at State Government as well as Union Government level shall have 3 representatives from local fishing communities who would participate in deliberations on approvals for setting up industries within their “Traditional Homeland”
(C) Any Industry that is located in the “Traditional Homeland” of coastal fishing communities should include the fishermen from that area as a stake holder and allocate 5% of the equity of such industry to the local fishermen community.
11.3 OCEAN ACIDIFICATION BY INDUSTRIES LOCATED IN COASTAL ZONES
11.3.1 This act shall regulate all Activities of industries located within 10 kilometers of Indian coast line in order to ensure that (i) liquid effluents emitted by such industries are not indiscriminately emptied into the sea nor (ii) the air emissions in coastal skyline induces acid rains in the oceans that would impact the ocean’s ecosystem.
11.3.2 The Government has taken notice of the fact that oceans and seas off Indian coast are becoming acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the last 55 million years, threatening disaster for marine life, including the fishery resources that forms the livelihood of fishermen tribes who inhabit the coastal areas of the country.
11.3.4 The Government recognizes that industrial activities in coastal mega cities has resulted in :
• Animals and Plants in the sea that have calcium carbonate skeletons or shells are sensitive to small changes in acidity and many of these sensitive species are directly or indirectly of great cultural, economic, or biological importance as primary producers, reef builders etc., and their destruction by the industries located in coastal zones can inflict irreparable damage to the coastal ecosystem and the fishing communities who depend on them.
• Valuable ecosystems will be further damaged if CO2 levels continue to rise by the activities of industries in coastal areas shall lead to cold water corals being exposed to corrosive waters and their eventual extinction along with 1000s of species of fish and other marine life that is dependent on coral life.
11.3.3 This Act mandates that 3 members of the local fishermen tribe is included in the Pollution Control Boards and Environment Clearance Boards of Union Ministry of Environment and forest as well as State level Environment Clearance Boards, for any industry that falls within their fishing village.
CHAPTER – XII
12 COASTAL & MARINE ENVIRONMENT MAINTENANCE AND DEVELOPMENT TAX
12.1 This Bill empowers the Government of India to levy Coastal and Marine Environment Maintenance and Development Tax (CMEMDAT) Environment Tax on Industries located offshore as well as onshore within 200 Kms from coast line.
12.2 Environment Tax: The following environment tax structure is applicable for all industries located either offshore on India’s EEZ or within 200 Kms onshore, from the coastline:
(i) Offshore Oil & Gas Installations: All activities, either prospecting or production of offshore Oil and Gas shall attract an annual tax of 2% on the annual revenue.
(ii) Marine Food Processing Units : 5% of annual revenue
(iii) Oil Refineries : 5% of annual revenue.
(iv) Chemical, fertilizer and related units : 5 % of annual revenue.
(v) Other Industrial Units : 3 % of annual revenue.
(vi) Commercial Establishments : 2% of annual revenue.
(vii) Residential Units & Apartment complexes : 10% of the annual property tax.
(viii) Two wheelers, 3 wheelers, cars, buses, trucks and other transport vehicles : 5% of the annual vehicle tax.
(ix) Sea Ports: 15% of the annual revenue
(x) Mechanized Fishing Vessels of 100 Gross Tonnes and fitted with engines of 200 HP and above : 5 % of annual revenue
(xi) Mechanized Fishing Vessels of 25 Gross Tonnes and fitted with engines of 60 HP and above 7 meters in length : 5 % of annual revenue.
(xii) Mechanized Fishing Vessels less than 7 meters in length : 5 % of annual revenue.
12.3 SETTING UP OF DISTRICT LEVEL AND STATE LEVEL MARINE AND FISHERY RESOURCES MANAGEMENT BOARDS
12.3.1 This Act empowers the Government of India to set up :
(i) State Level Ocean and Fishery Resources Management Boards (SLO-FRMB) at every State and in Port Blair (for Eastern Island groups) and Kavarati (for Western Island Groups)
(ii) District Level Ocean and Fishery Resources Management Boards (DLO-FRMB) at every State including the Islands of Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshwadeep.
12.3.2 Objectives of SLO-FRMB and DLO-FRMB is to exercise sound judgment in the stewardship of fishery resources through the preparation, monitoring, and revision of such plans that will enable the States, the fishing industry, consumer and environmental organizations, and other interested persons to participate in, and advise on, the establishment and administration of such plans, and which take into account the social and economic needs of the concerned States;
10.3.3 All Chairperson of District Level Monitoring Committee (DLMC) shall be members of SLO-FRMB. In addition the Government shall appoint 15 member Board and the following personnel shall be members of the Board:
• Government of India ( Fisheries ) of the State Government
• Government of India (Environment) of the State Government
• Government of India (Welfare) of State Government
• Regional Commander of Indian Navy
• Regional Commander of Coast Guard
• Chairman of Regional Pollution Control Board
• Regional Director, MPEDA
• Regional Director, NABARD.
• Director of State Research Station of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
• 6 eminent persons in the field of Marine Environment Management.
12.3.4 Environment Tax collected as per clause 12.2 above, would be administered by ROFRMB and the receivables would be utilized for the following purposes :
(i) General social up-lift of “Fishermen Aboriginal Tribes”
(ii) Extension of loan facilities for members of “Fishermen Tribes” for empowering them in Governments programme to make them “owner operators” of mechanized fishing vessels.
(iii) Place 25% of the revenue generated at the disposal of NABARD for extending of “Microfinance” for fisher women.
(iv) Conduct environmental impact studies on fishery and marine life.
(v) Provision of sanitation facilities for coastal villages.
(vi) Monitoring of effluents dumped by industries located on the edges of the sea and take necessary mitigation action in cases of violation.
12.4 CONSERVATON OF DEEP SEA FISHING AND MARINE RESOURCES
12.4.1 RPFRMB to take Action immediately to protect Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) from the destructive impact of intensive fishing methods by mechanized vessels like bottom fisheries on the high seas.
12.4.2 Every coastal District shall have a District level RPFRMB that shall be chaired by an elected representative of Fishermen Aborigine Tribe, who shall be elected for a tenure of 5 years from amongst fishermen tribes in the District.
12.4.3 RPFRMB, in coordination with Central Government Organizations like NIO shall conduct impact assessments, closing areas of the high seas to bottom fishing where VMEs are known or likely to occur unless fisheries in these areas can be managed to prevent significant adverse impacts, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of deep-sea fish stocks.
12.4.4 The RPFRMB are empowered by this Bill to recommend to the Union Government violations by flag bearing ship prohibit their vessels from engaging in bottom fishing on the high seas as mandated
12.5 STATUTORY LIMITS IN FISHING BY MECHANISED BOATS, TRAWLERS AND FACTORY SHIPS.
12.5.1 Fish stocks, including straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks, off Indian coasts have been overfished by large scale use of mechanized vessels, trawlers and huge factory ships. These vessels are sparsely regulated and this has let to extremely harmful and unsustainable fisheries .
12.5.2 RFMO’s are empowered to set statutory limits on mechanized vessels that operate beyond the first 100 miles of EEZ (the first 100 miles being reserved for Fishing Aborigine Tribes.
12.6 MANAGEMENT PLANS
12.6.1 Management Plans are meant to provide the overall framework in which fishing operations and the management will take place. These may include, inter alia, the following;
• The restrictions to be placed on the numbers of each kind of fishing units
• Controls on fishing operations like zonation, seasonal bans, gear specifications including mesh size, horse power controls, etc.
• Provisions governing the crew, safety, etc.
• Ban on capture of any species or the declaration of a Marine Protected Area under the Wildlife Protected Act.
12.6.2 Management Plans provide the framework for fisheries management and are the source for all regulations and orders. Where the Management Plans call for specific regulations, these can be notified by the appropriate authority/officer.
12.6.3 Management plans shall be dynamic and subject to amendments, periodic reviews and total redrafting as per need.
12.7 Ministry of Fisheries to establish Management Plans
12.7.1 This Act mandates the Union Ministry of Fisheries (MoF) to draft a “National Management Plan” within 6 months from enactment of this Act, that would sets out the broad boundaries within which fishing will take place in the maritime zones of India. It will include national goals, limits to fishing capacity, schemes to reduce capacity and effort, broad guidelines on proper management of the fishery, etc. The national plan will provide the framework within which all fishing in Indian waters will be managed, whether in the state waters or national waters.
12.7.2 MoF shall also prepare
(i) “Management Plan for National Waters (EEZ) as a separate document that will set the parameters for the use of the national waters for fishing.
(ii) Regional management plans that go into more details and are in tune with the particular eco-systems and fishing systems in the respective regions. Here the conventional division of the Indian seas into NW, SW, SE and NE may be quite suitable for developing regional plans.
(iii) The regional plans may also include separate plans for the EEZ area that falls within the region within the parameters set by the overall EEZ plan that is part of the national management plan. Inter-state issues will be addressed by regional management plans.
(iv) State management plans that are detailed with regard to fishing operations within the territorial waters adjacent to each state and fit within the larger framework of the regional and national plans
(v) Special management plans that may relate to management of particular stock/species/group of species/fleet. These may be prepared at regional levels where relevant or may require grouping of states relevant to the management problem being addressed. These groupings may cut across regions, if needed. The special management plans could be time bound and need based
12.8 Classification and management of the fishing fleet
A. From the point of view of jurisdiction and effective management, in a situation where the sea is divided administratively between each State and between the State and Centre, we propose the following classification of the fishing fleet.
(i) State fleet—Category 1: All boats that fish only within state waters. This category will include most non-motorized fishing boats, if not all. It will also include motorized fishing boats that use small gillnets or seines to target small pelagics. For example, the large ring seine boats of Kerala will clearly fall in this category. This category will also involve the small mechanized trawlers (say up to 36’) that fish in the near-shore waters. The state will be fully responsible for managing this category of boats subject to the provisions of the state management plans approved by the National Authority.
(ii) State fleet—Category II: This will include all boats that fish within state waters but also fish in the national waters (seasonally or otherwise). This may include some of the motorized boats that fish beyond the state waters using large mesh drift nets or longlines. This will include all the larger trawlers, especially the multi-day boats that go up to the edge of the shelf, at least seasonally. It can also include the “deep sea” fleet operated by the Thoothoor fishermen hailing from Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. These boats fish more in the “national waters” than “state waters”, but cannot be denied fishing rights within the state waters. Management of this category, including the issue of permits, will be made by the State Government in consonance with the State/Regional/National management plans. However, for this category of boats, the State Government should report all relevant information to the Central Government or the agency appointed by the Central Government.
(iii) National fleet: Larger vessels introduced exclusively for fishing in the National waters may be considered as the National fleet. The management of this fleet (including the issue of permits) will be done by the Central Government through a suitable agency or agencies , in consonance with the national and regional management plans approved by the National Authority.
(iv) Priority over resources in the national waters : Applying the principle of subsidiarity enunciated in the NFF position paper, the first priority over fish resources in the national waters will go to the state fleet (category II) and the national fleet will get only the second priority. This will be reflected in the management plan for the national waters.
CHAPTER - XIII
13 POWERS OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE
13.1. Authorized Officers and their powers
(1) Any officers of the Coast Guard constituted under the Coast Guard Act, 1978, or such other officer of Government as may be authorized by the Central Government may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the requirements of this Act have been complied with, either with or without a warrant.
(a) stop or board a fishing vessel in any maritime zone of India and search such vessel for fish and for equipment used or capable of being used for fishing or any fishing activity;
(b) require the master of such vessel to produce (i) any registration certificate, permit, log book or other document relating to the vessel and examine or take copies of such registration certificate, permit, log book or document; (ii) any catch, net, fishing gear or other equipment on board such vessel or belonging to the vessel and examine such catch, net gear or equipment;
(c ) make such enquiries as may be necessary to ascertain compliance with any of the provisions of the Act.
(2) Where the officer referred to in sub-section (1) (hereinafter referred to be `Authorized Officer’) has reasons to believe that any fishing vessel has been, is being, or is about to be, used for committing an offence under this Act, or undertake any illegal Activity in contravention of applicable laws of India, he may, with or without a warrant;
(a) seize and detain such vessel, including any fishing gear, fish, equipment, stores or cargo found on board such vessel or belonging to the vessel, and seize and detain any fishing gear abandoned by the vessel;
(b) require the master of such vessel seized or detained under sub-clause (a) to bring such vessel to a port specified by such officer;
(c) arrest any person who, such officer has reason to believe, has committed such as an offence.
(3) In taking any action under sub-section (2), the Authorized Officer may use such force as may be reasonably necessary.
(4) Where any vessel or other things are seized, or any person has been arrested, under sub-section (2):
(a) The vessel or other things so seized shall, as soon as possible, be produced before a Magistrate competent to try an offence under this Act. The Magistrate shall make such order in writing as he may deem fit for the retention of custody of such vessel or things seized with the Central Government or any authority determined by the Magistrate in this regard, pending the completion of any proceedings for the prosecution of any offence under this Act or for its use by such authority during such retention or custody on such terms and conditions as the magistrate may deemed fit to impose.
PROVIDED that the Magistrate may on an application made by the owner or master of such vessel in the prescribed form, order the release of the vessel or things so seized on the owner or master furnishing security in the form of cash or a irrevocable and unconditional bank guarantee for an amount not less than fifty per cent (50%) of the value of the vessel or things so seized;
PROVIDED further that where any fish so seized is subject to deterioration, the Magistrate may authorize appropriate disposal of such fish including through sale of such fish and deposit of the proceeds of such sale in court.
(b) The arrested person, shall, be soon as possible, be informed of the grounds for such arrest and he shall, without unnecessary delay, be produced before such Magistrate, and
(c) The Central Government shall be promptly informed in writing of such seizure or arrest and the details thereof.
(5) Where, in pursuance of the commission, of any offence under this Act, any vessel is pursued beyond the limits of the exclusive economic zone 16 of India, the powers conferred on an authorized officer by this section may be exercised beyond such limits in the circumstances and to the extent recognized by international law and State practice.
14 OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
Part A: Offences by Indian Fishing Vessels
14.1. Penalty for Contravention of this Act
(1) Where any Mechanized Indian fishing vessel is used in contravention of the provisions of this Act , the owner and master of such vessel shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or with a fine which is the higher of either rupees [nine] hundred thousand or the value of such vessel, or with both imprisonment and fine.
Part B: Offences by Foreign Fishing Vessels
14.2 . Penalty for Contravention of Section 3
(1) Where any foreign fishing vessel is used in contravention of the provisions of this Act , the owner and master of such vessel shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or with a fine which is the higher of either rupees two million (Rs. 182,000,000) or the value of such vessel, or with both imprisonment and fine.
(2) Any person employed or engaged and present in the vessel referred to in sub-section (1) of this section 14, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding rupees fifty thousand (Rs. 50,000).
PROVIDED that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any such punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
14.3. Penalty for contravention of this Bill, When there is a contravention of the provisions of this Bill, the owner and master of such vessel shall be punishable with fine not exceeding rupees two million (Rs. 2,000,000).
Part C: Provisions Applicable for Offences both by Indian Fishing Vessels and Foreign Fishing Vessels
14.4 . Penalty for contravention
Where any vessel is found in any maritime zone of India in contravention of the provisions of this Bill, the owner and master of such vessel shall be punishable with imprisonment for a period of [six] months, or fine that is the higher of either rupees five million (Rs. 5,000,000) or the value of the vessel, or with both imprisonment and fine.
(1) Where any person is convicted of an offence under this Bill the vessel used in or in connection with the commission of the said offence, together with its fishing gear equipment, stores and cargo and any fish on board such ship or the proceeds of the sale of any fish shall also be liable to confiscation.
(2) The vessel or other things confiscated under sub-section (1) shall vest in the Central Government.
14.6. Penalty for obstruction of authorized officers. If any person:
(a) intentionally obstructs any authorized officer in the exercise of any powers conferred under this Act, or
(b) fails to afford reasonable facilities to the authorized officer or his assistants to board the vessel or to provide for adequate security to such officer and assistants at the time of entry into the vessel or when they are on board such vessel; or
(c) fails to stop the vessel or produce the permit, log book or other document or any fish, net, fishing gear or other equipment on board such vessel, when required to do so by the authorized officer, or
(d) fails to provide reasonable assistance to the authorized officer for any other matter; he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine not exceeding rupees one million (Rs. 1,000,000) for each such offence or with both.
14.7. Court to Pass Certain Orders
(1) Where any person is convicted of an offence under this Bill, the Court before which such proceedings are being conducted may, in addition to awarding any punishment, order that any costs incurred in connection with the retention or custody of the vessel during the pendency of any proceedings for the prosecution of an offence under this Act, as reduced by the amount if any realized out of the use of the vessel by the authority with whom such vessel was retained or kept in custody, shall be payable by the person convicted.
(2) The Court may also order that any fines or costs as ordered under the provisions this Act may be recovered through sale of the vessel or any equipment, stores or cargo found on board such vessel or belonging to the vessel.
14.8. Offence by companies
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
PROVIDED that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any such punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, Government of India or other officer, such person shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation: For the purpose of this section,
(a) “company” means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association of persons; and
(b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
15.1. General Power to appoint Agencies to Discharge Functions
(1) The Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, designate one or more central government or state government agencies or officials or create a new government agency to discharge any one or more of its powers and functions under this Act.
(2) The Central Government may also delegate any agency notified under sub-clause (1) to make regulations on specific aspects as may be specified by the Central Government for the effective implementation of certain aspects of this Act.
15.2 . Offences to be Cognizable Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable.
15.3. Cognizance and Trial of Offences
(1) No Court shall taken cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by an authorized officer.
(2) No Court inferior of that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under this Act.
15.4. Magistrate’s Power to impose enhanced penalties notwithstanding anything contained in section 29 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, it shall be lawful for any Metropolitan Magistrate or any Judicial Magistrate of the first class specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf to pass any sentence authorized by this Act.
15.5 . Place of Trial
Any person committing an offence under this Act or any rule made there under may be tried for the offence in such place as the Central Government may by general or special order, published in the official Gazette, direct in this behalf.
15.6 . Presumptions
(1) Where any offence is alleged to have been committed under the provisions of this Act, the place of commission of such offence shall be presumed on the basis of the certified copy of the relevant entry in the log book or other official record of the vessel or aircraft which was used in connection with the detection of the offence.
(2) Where any vessel is found within any maritime zone of India and the fishing gear of such vessel is not stowed in the prescribed manner, or fish is found on board such vessel, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that the said vessel was used for fishing within that zone.
15.7 . Appeals
Appeals from a decision of the Central Government or any agency appointed by the Central Government to exercise the powers of the Central Government under this Act may be made to the relevant High Court which has jurisdiction over such matters.
15.8 . Protection of Action Taken in Good Faith
(1) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of the provisions of this Act.
(2) No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Government for any damage caused or likely to be caused for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of the provision of this Act.
15.9 . International Cooperation
The Central Government may, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed, allow a vessel belonging to another country, to enter the maritime zones of India for the purpose of:
(a) Innocent Passage; or
(b) Any other purpose as determined as relevant by the Central Government.
15.10 . Cooperation between Centre and State Governments
(1) The Central Government shall ensure coordination with the State Governments of the various coastal states of India in relation to the effective implementation of the Act, especially in so far as such implementation has impact on the territorial waters of India.
(2) The State Governments of the various coastal states of India shall extend full co-operation and assistance at all times when the Central Government makes a request for such assistance to ensure effective implementation of the Act.
15.11. Power to make Rules
(1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the Central Government may make rules with regard to all or any of the following matters:
(a)Stipulating the eligibility criteria for vessels grant of an approval for fishing or fishing activity within the various maritime zones of India;
(b)Stipulating standards and specifications for fishing vessels undertaking fishing in the maritime zones of India, their equipment, safety standards;
(c) Stipulating standards and requirement regarding training of crew, minimum qualification of certain crew members undertaking specific activities, and nationality requirements, if any, for the crew members;
(d) Prescribing the procedure for grant of permit to fishing vessels to undertake fishing or any fishing activity within any maritime zone of India including but not limited to the form of application, the application fee, the documents to be provided along with the application;
(e)Prescribing the form, duration and other restrictions and terms and conditions subject to which a permit for fishing or any fishing activity may be granted;
(f) Prescribing a code of conduct for fishing operations and any fishing activities (including post-harvest operations);
(g) Forms in which: (a) an application for a permit may be made and the fees that shall accompany such application; and (b) an application for renewal of a permit may be made and the fees that shall accompany such application;
(h) The matters which may be taken into account in the granting of permits, and validity period of permit;
(i) The terms and conditions subject to which the Central Government may allow for transfer or assignment of a permit.
(j) The form of permits for including the conditions and restrictions subject to which permits may be granted;
(k) Identification of specified ports for docking by foreign fishing vessels;
(l) The manner in which the fishing gear of fishing vessel shall be kept stowed to designated areas;
(m) The form for reporting daily position of the vessel;
(n) The manner in which a fishing vessel shall transfer catches or receive supplies at mid sea;
(o) The types of equipment for vessel monitoring and sea safety that should be carried by a vessel.
(p) The terms and conditions under which a vessel may be permitted to be used for fishing within any maritime zone of India for the purpose of carrying out any scientific research or investigation or for any experimental fishing under section 7;
(q) The form in which an application may be made for releasing the vessel or other things seized under this Bill
(r) The form in which voyage and catch details are to be submitted to the designated authority;
(s) Prescribe practices and procedures for responsible conduct of fishing operations to ensure proper management of living resources leading to sustainability;
(t) Stipulate the procedure, limitations and other terms and conditions subject to which any approval granted may be renewed;
(u) Providing for process for suspension or early termination or surrender of any permit granted for fishing or fishing activities under this Act;
(v) Prescribe and regulate fishermen welfare measures;
(w) Promotion and implementation of infrastructure development for fisheries and fishing activities;
(x) Procedure, form for application for innocent passage or any other passage pursuant to international cooperation as specified under this Bill and terms and conditions for grant of such approval;
(y) Stipulating the process of monitoring and review of the approvals granted (including but not limited to reporting of daily position of vessel, submission of report and data at the end of each voyage); and
(z) Generally providing for any other matter which in its opinion is expedient for proper control over the fishing and any fishing activity within the maritime zones of India and for ensuring law and order within the maritime zones of India.
(3) Every rule made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty (30) days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
15.12 . Consequential Amendment to the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976. The proviso to sub-section (5) of section 7 of the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976 shall be omitted.
15.13 . Removal of Difficulties
i. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order published in the official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as may appear to it to be necessary for removing the difficulty.
ii. Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament.
15.14 . Repeal of Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act. The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act, 1981, is hereby repealed.
• Clauses 10.1,10.2,10.3,10.4,10.5 and 10.6 adopted from USA’s “Magnuson Act 2007” and required redrafting.