PMK founder S Ramadoss on Tuesday voiced his opposition to the Union government’s Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill 2009, saying its provisions were against fishermen’s welfare.

Asking the Tamil Nadu government to take up the matter with the Centre, he said fishermen in the state’s coastal towns would be mobilised to organise a “massive protest” if the Bill was not withdrawn.

In a statement here, Dr. Ramadoss said fishermen in the state had to forfeit their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay after the islet Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka, “without consulting” the stakeholders and were “therefore already suffering“.

On Monday, archrivals DMK and AIADMK expressed reservations over the bill, with DMK president Karunanidhi calling for wider consultations with stakeholders and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa saying her party MPs would oppose the bill at the introduction stage in Parliament.

Dr. Ramadoss said the Centre should drop its move to introduce the bill and provisions such as “levying fine of Rs 9 lakh for going beyond fishing zone of 12 nautical miles,” will “intimidate” fishermen.

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