Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Equipping the coastal communities to overcome the impact of climate change requires foresight and a comprehensive development vision, with a participatory approach involving the people, K.S. Purushan, member, Kerala Fishworkers Debt Relief Commission, has said.

He was speaking at a seminar organised in connection with the silver jubilee of Matsyafed here.

Mr. Purushan urged the government to address the concerns over the coastal zone management strategy. He stressed the need for coordinated action at the regional and national levels to preserve coastal resources and marine wealth.

Citing studies, he said many species of fish had a tendency to migrate when the temperature of the sea surface crossed a critical level. This, he observed, had the potential to affect the livelihood of fishworkers.

Mr. Purushan flayed the increasing tendency to reclaim paddy fields and wetlands for unproductive ventures. He said the large-scale destruction of forests and mangroves had upset the natural equilibrium, threatening entire communities.

Development policies

Mr. Purushan called on the government to accord priority to development policies focussing on livelihood maintenance and food security of the coastal communities. Mr. Purushan said the Theeravanam project launched by the State government to create a green barrier of mangroves, casuarinas and cashew trees all along the coast would help to protect the coast, offset the rise in atmospheric temperature, increase fish wealth and ensure the livelihood of fishworkers.