The union government has delegated powers of registration, survey and certification of Indian fishing boats, irrespective of their size or length, to states and union territories. The ministry of shipping also issued a gazette notification to that effect on Thursday.
Under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, the powers in respect of registration, survey and certification of Indian fishing boats stand delegated to the secretaries in charge of the department of fisheries of respective state governments or the administrators in the case of Union territories, the notification said.
Indian fishing boats can now be registered at the ports or places in India specified in the gazette notification. Officials of the state government / union territories mentioned in the notification will be the registrars of the Indian fishing boats for the purpose.
The decision to decentralise these functions is in consonance with the resolution that emerged at the 14th meeting of the Maritime States Development Council held in Mumbai on 7 and 8 January 2013. This will strengthen the maritime administrations of the states and union territories.
The fishing community will benefit from ease of business through reduction in transaction time and costs, accessibility of services at the local level and convenience.
Earlier, fishing boats above 20 meters in length were registered by mercantile marine departments under the Directorate General of Shipping while those under 20 meters were allowed to be registered with the state governments and union territories. Now, all fishing boats, irrespective of their size or length, can be registered with the respective states/ union territories.
The Directorate General of Shipping will issue guidelines to facilitate the discharge of these functions by maritime states/ union territory administrations in a harmonised manner, according to a shipping ministry notification.