Staff Reporter

March, demonstration to be held in Kozhikode tomorrow

KOZHIKODE: The Traditional Fish-workers Protection Council, a collective of traditional fish-workers in the district, will organise a march to the Collectorate here and hold a demonstration there on Thursday in protest against the Supreme Court verdict extending ban on trawling for 17 days up to August 15.

The march, to begin from the Erahnipalam bypass here at 10 a.m., will be addressed by prominent trade union leaders. The fish-workers has also decided to boycott free rations for two weeks announced by the Government, council general convener N.P. Radhakrishnan and chairman N.P. Usman told presspersons here on Tuesday.

At Koyilandy

A march followed by a demonstration will be held at the Koyilandy mini civil station and Vadakara taluk office in the district on Wednesday by fish-workers.

Those from Chombal to Chaliyam were organising under the banner of the council.

Need for higher returns

Mr. Radhakrishnan and Mr. Usman said the three months from June to August were when fish-workers could expect the highest returns in a year.

Such returns would have helped them repay the loans taken for buying boats and fishing equipment.

They said the Supreme Court had stressed that the verdict was based on two points: to avoid depletion of fish wealth during the breeding season and protect the rights of traditional fishermen. However, the traditional fishermen in the district were put to difficulty by this extended ban, they said.

The majority of fish workers in the district were using boats or country crafts fitted with engines with more than 10 HP power.

The Fisheries Department and the Marine Enforcement Department were preventing venturing into the sea of boats and country crafts fitted with such engines.

Also, prohibitory orders had been imposed on the coast in the district alone, though there was not even a single incident of violence or any tension reported in this area, they alleged.

The traditional fish-workers were having a difficult time as authorities had also threatened to seize their boats or country crafts and fishing equipment. In some cases in Vadakara, the authorities had charged cases even against those workers going to sea with boats fitted with 9.9 HP or even 8 HP power engines, they alleged.

The harbours had been closed in several places in order to prevent fishermen from venturing into the sea, they alleged.