Parliament passes Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023
Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023. The Bill seeks to amend the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) Act, 2005.
The Coastal Aquaculture Authority was established by the CAA Act of 2005. It was established to regulate activities related to coastal aquaculture.
The CAA Act, 2005 exempted coastal aquaculture from the “prohibition clause” under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) Notification 1991.
It may be noted that in 2022, the National Green Tribunal ruled that Section 27 of the CAA Act 2005 does not give complete exemption to coastal aquaculture from the CRZ notifications issued in 2011 and 2019.
Coastal aquaculture refers to the cultivation of shrimp, oysters, fish or other aquatic organisms in salt-rich or brackish water.
Key provisions of the Amendment Bill:
- Coastal aquaculture and related activities are permitted under CRZ. Thus, these activities will continue to be regulated by the CAA Act only.
- It permits nucleus breeding and seaweed culture in creeks/backwaters in the ‘No Development Zone’ within the CRZ.
Additional functions assigned to CAA:
- setting standards for the use of inputs and effluents from aquaculture units;
- Entrusted with the prohibition of the use in coastal aquaculture of pharmacologically active substances, antimicrobial agents or other materials harmful to human health, etc.
- The Member Secretary of the Authority will be appointed by the Central Government. It will act as the Chief Executive Officer of CAA.
- Various acts have been decriminalized under the Act. Also, in case of offenses only a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh can be imposed.
Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)
- The CRZ notification has been issued by the Central Government under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- Its purpose is to regulate different activities in the coastal zone.
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is its nodal ministry.
Source – The Hindu