Fishermen from coastal Andhra Pradesh have submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charan Das Mahant that they be included in the list of the Scheduled Tribe in Andhra Pradesh.

Fishermen's Youth Welfare Association (FYWA) in a press release issued here on Saturday said that the fishermen should be provided the right over sea, sea coast and its produce.

The fishermen involved in selling fish should be considered as workers, the FYWA said. It has asked for better infrastructure in the markets and implementation of the CRZ 2011 Act strictly.

They told the minister that there were about 584 fishermen villages along Andhra Pradesh coast in nine districts from Nellore to Srikakulam with 14 lakh families depending on the sea for their daily earning. Another woe is the fisher-folk getting arrested while in deep-sea. The illiterate fishermen in the deep-sea sometimes enter the territorial waters of other littoral states unknowingly.

“It is essential that the nations should enter into a mutual agreement whereby innocent, bona-fide and illiterate fishermen are not taken into custody, said association secretary Olisetty Bosanna. 

Compensation in the case of occupational hazards is not uniform and while in Kerala Rs.5 lakh is given as compensation, in Andhra Pradesh this amount is very meagre, that too the amount is not released on time, he added.

Many varieties of fish and other marine animals were available in abundance two decades ago, but to polluting activities along the coast, they were getting depleted and becoming extinct putting a lot of stress on the livelihood of fishermen, they opined.

The Andhra Pradesh Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1994 – an Act to provide for the regulation of fishing by fishing vessels in territorial waters in the sea coast must be strictly implemented.

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