Fishers air concerns over steps to increase production

Charles George, convener of the Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi

Charles George, convener of the Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi  

‘Ownership of new enterprises should rest with fishermen’

Fishermen have called for a rethink on a set of suggestions put forward by the State government to increase fish production. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had recently called for steps like introduction of cage farming and bringing idle holdings under fish culture to increase production.

However, such steps should be taken keeping the interests of small and marginal fishers in mind, said Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi.

Convener of the Aikya Vedhi Charles George said that there was no question on the importance of increasing fish production in the State. Steps should be taken to ensure fish availability, he said. “However, when steps are taken to increase fish production, they should involve traditional fishers who make a living out of fishing activities. Their rights should be the foremost concern,” he said.

The ownership of new enterprises to increase fish production should rest with fishermen or groups of fishermen, said Mr. George.

“Steps to increase fish production are welcome but they should not alienate the fishing community,” said V.D. Majeendran of Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation. He said that increasing fish production would involve investments in new projects and the traditional community of fishers should not be alienated or kept away from these enterprises.

Mr. George said that any move in which the fishing community did not have a definite say would be opposed strongly by the community.

He said the government should step in to improve the condition of inland fisheries resources. The condition of the Vembanad lake, the largest brackish water system in the world, was pathetic, he said. There was pollution as well as unrestricted encroachment on the waterbody, which had landed traditional fishermen in trouble, he said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 7:47:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fishers-air-concerns-over-steps-to-increase-production/article31505585.ece

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