Say the MoEF has not kept its word on provisions of Act

: The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on January 6 does not reflect the issues raised by the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) or the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF).

Talking to The Hindu on Sunday, KSMTF president T. Peter and NFF chairman Matanhy Saldhana said the Ministry had not kept its promise given to the NFF during the four rounds of talks between them in New Delhi and Mundra. He warned that the fishing community would launch an agitation against the notification if the assurances were not fulfilled.

They said the Ministry had indicated that the provision relating to ‘roads-on-stilts' would be dropped from the final notification in view of protests by the fishing community and environmental groups against its potential for misuse.

However, the provision has been retained in the final notification.

The Ministry had assured the fishing community organisations of fair representation in the national and State-level Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMA), with at least three persons on each CZMA.

The assurance does not find mention in the final notification. Mr. Saldanha said the fishing community was the traditional inhabitants of the coast with the largest stake in its protection and management.

Further, an assurance had been given to the NFF that the provision to notify critically vulnerable coastal areas (CVCA) would be modified and notified as community managed coastal reserves (CMCR). Community-led models of management and conservation were more effective in meeting environmental and social objectives, Mr. Saldanha said.

Mr. Peter said the fishing community feared misuse of the provision that permitted State-level coastal zone management plans (CZMP) to be revised every five years.

  • Fish workers warn of agitation
  • ‘No proper representation in CZMAs'