[Reader-list] Fish workers oppose reforms

T Peter peter.ksmtf at gmail.com
Sun Jun 1 12:55:14 IST 2008

Fish-workers national campaign reaches Kollam
Staff Reporter
Date:30/05/2008 URL:
A precursor to their Parliament march
Coastal march: The Kutch-Kanyakumari-Kolkata campaign of the National
Fish-workers Forum passing through Kollam on Thursday.
KOLLAM: The Kutch-Kanyakumari-Kolkata vehicle campaign of the National
Fish-workers Forum (NFF) to garner support for the Parliament march of
fish-workers in July reached Kollam on Thursday.
The campaign that began on May 1 from Kutch will reach Kolkatta on
June 27 after covering the entire coastal belt of the country.
NFF chairman Harikrishna Debnath who leads the campaign said that the
Parliament march was in protest against the move to replace the 1991
Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification with the Coastal Zone
Management notification. He alleged that the basic intention behind
the move was to sell the coastal areas for commercial plunder.
Addressing the campaign at Vady Junction here, NFF activist and former
Tourism Minister of Goa Mathani Saldhana said that there had never
been any attempt from the government side to garner the strength of
the fishing community in managing coastal resources. On the contrary,
there had been a systematic effort to shut off this community from any
meaningful participation in coastal management.
He said that the CZM notification would result in the fishing
community's future turning uncertain. Traditional fishing grounds
could be denied to the fishermen. The CZM reflects the Government of
India's determination to sell the sea for commercial looting by
foreign companies.
Mr. Saldhana, who champions the movement against special economic
zones in Goa, said that in order to resist the CZM, fishermen of the
country had to unite.
He alleged there was a concerted effort by vested interests to keep
the fishing communities divided on the basis caste and creed. The
fishing community should see through this game plan and oppose the
Some of the demands to be raised during the Parliament march include
recognition of the customary and traditional rights of the fishing
community over coastal land and waters, implementation of the CRZ
notification, ban on intensive aquaculture along the coast, announcing
a comprehensive legislation for the exclusive economic zone waters,
sufficient cheaper fuel for sustainable fishing and reforming the
Marine Fishing Regulation Acts of the States to improve fisheries
The Kerala course of the campaign was also led by president of the
Kerala Matsyathozhilali Federation T. Peter and general secretary A.
Fish workers oppose reforms
Date:01/06/2008 URL:
Special Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram: Hundreds of fish workers took out a march to the
office of the Accountant-General here on Saturday in protest against
the proposed reforms in the fisheries sector and the government's move
to replace the Coastal Regulation Zone policy with the Coastal Zone
Management policy.
The stir was organised as part of a nation-wide campaign by the
National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) urging the Central and State
governments to take steps to ensure the livelihood security of
fisherfolk. Inaugurating the march, Pannian Ravindran, MP, said the
government had a responsibility to protect coastal and marine
NFF leaders alleged that the proposed reforms in the fisheries sector
would expose traditional fishermen to unhealthy competition from
multinational companies and lead to plunder of marine resources. They
said the Coastal Zone Management policy and the decision to permit the
operation of foreign trawlers would affect the livelihood of
traditional fishermen all over the country.
NFF leaders Harekrishna Debnath and Matanhy Saldanha; State president
of Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation T. Peter; and
general secretary A. Andrews; were among those who spoke.
The NFF national campaign for the rights of fish workers began in
Gujarat on May 1. During the Kerala leg of the campaign, the team
visited fishing villages and landing centres along the coast from
Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram and addressed public meetings.
Mr. Debnath said the team had received complaints from fish workers
against sand-mining, import of fish, inadequate supply of kerosene for
outboard engines and discrepancy in utilisation of tsunami
rehabilitation funds.

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