Kerala government on Wednesday, asked the Centre to give up the move to bring in a new Fisheries Act, stating that the provisions in it would open up offshore and deep-sea fishing to big corporates, harming the interests of millions of traditional fishermen.
Briefing reporters on the State Cabinet’s view on the subject, Chief Minister, Mr. V S Achuthanandan said, the enactment of a National Fisheries Law would also amount to transgressing the rights of the States, since fisheries was a State subject under the constitution.
The UPA Government at the Centre should immediately call a meeting of the coastline States to discuss the implications of the national fisheries policy, he said.
The Union Government should have consulted with States, before ‘unilaterally’ deciding to bring in a central legislation, ignoring federal principles, he said.
Going by its provisions, the legislation would open up country’s territorial waters for factory vessels of national and multinational corporates and thus leading to unrestricted depletion of marine resources, he said.
The net result would be that, millions of fisher folk in the country would be thrown out of jobs and pushing them to utter penury and misery, Mr. Achuthanandan said. The State Cabinet’s concern on the issue would be conveyed to the Centre, he added.