The policy address delivered by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday emphasised that fisheries continues to be a high-priority sector for the State government.

One of the major focus areas of the Fisheries department is modernisation of the ‘fishing fleet’ of the State in a phased manner. The State government has also prioritised projects to provide safe dwellings to fishermen by rehabilitating those living in erosion-prone areas.

Through the flagship programme ‘Punargeham’, 1,473 individual houses and 390 flats have been completed and handed over to the beneficiaries. Under new projects, the department will take up construction of 660 flats at a cost of 120.63 crores at Muttathara in Thiruvananthapuram, Koyiladi in Kasargod, Unniyal and Ponnani in Malappuram, Mr. Khan said in the address.

Insurance cover

The department will continue to provide insurance coverage to fishermen and the fishing implements of traditional fishermen. The department will also strengthen efforts to promote aquaculture activities through diversification of species, adoption of innovative technologies and area expansion. The Harbour Engineering department will also continue its activities for modernisation of fisheries infrastructures, fishing harbours and fish markets, Mr. Khan said.

The government will also continue works related to strengthening vulnerable coastal stretches leveraging innovative technologies like geotubes, tetrapods, diaphragm walls, etc. Ten coastal areas prone to sea erosion have also been identified as ‘hot spots,’ he said in the address.