[Reader-list] Kerala: Fishermen observe protest march to end juvenile fishing, for Kerosene subsidy and Ockhi relief

T Peter peter.ksmtf at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 12:25:55 CST 2018

Kerala: Fishermen observe protest march to end juvenile fishing, for
Kerosene subsidy and Ockhi relief

After nearly three months since Ockhi cyclone that devastated the fishermen
community, many coastal families are yet to recover. Some of the fishermen
who had survived the disaster are incapacitated due to paralytic limbs,
while some are yet to overcome the fear to go for fishing in sea. The
result, many fishermen families are left with no occupation or income and
women in such families are in deep distress. Though the state government
has offered ex-gratia relief of Rs 22 lakh to the family of the deceased,
the same relief amount promised for the family of the missing fishermen is
yet to reach them. Adding to their woes, the fishermen are anxious over the
private boat operators juvenile fish catch which they fear will deplete the
marine fish resource. Raising their concerns, the fishermen community led
by National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) observed a protest march to the
Secretariat here on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the protest march from Palayam to the Secretariat here, NFF
general secretary T Peter told TOI that, “Boat operators use diamond mesh
nets instead of square nets to maximise the juvenile fish catch which will
totally deplete the marine fisheries in about ten years. Central Marine
Fisheries Research Institute (CFTRI) had recommended all coastal states to
ban juvenile fishing of 58 varieties. The state government should strictly
ban such juvenile fishing which is transported to factories in Colachel and
Mangalapuram to transform it into poultry feed and fertilisers. Bowing down
to the pressures of private boat operators, if the stat fails to ban
juvenile fishing, then the fishermen will be forced to stop them at sea."

The protest march voiced the demand to end juvenile fishing and to offer
subsidies on kerosene for fishing vessels. The fishermen have also sought
to raise the Kerosene provided by Matsyafed to 300 litres. They have also
sought to offer relief to the families affected by Ockhi cyclone,
particularly the families of missing fishermen and those who have lost
their livelihood. It is also to speed up the measures to ensure the safety
of fishermen at sea as promised by the government.

Though the state government had issued the revised list of 141 missing
fishermen earlier, it is verified further and now the state lists 103
missing fishermen. The government constituted Committee led by Disaster
Management department secretary and officials from Kerala State Disaster
Management Authority (KSDMA) with Fisheries department are verifying the
missing fishermen list further before the release of relief grant to the
families, an official from KSDMA told TOI. The Centre had released only the
initial disaster relief of Rs 133 crore and after that nothing has come
through, the official said.

For the safety of fishermen at sea, the state had promised to ensure that
the fishing vessels be fitted with GPS enabled Navic based naval gadgets
for navigation in deep sea. Though the gadgets were tested, it is yet to be
implemented. The fishermen are yet to be provided with life jackets and
other safety devices before venturing into sea. Officials of the state
government told TOI that they are yet to receive the 500 Navic gadgets from
ISRO as assured and that is expected by March end.
 Comment on this Story

Source:  The Times of India

More information about the reader-list mailing list