Fishers up in arms against blue economy draft policy

Fishers in the State have risen as one against the draft policy framework on India’s blue economy, which envisages using marine resources for sustainable development.

Fishers’ unions cutting across political divisions will meet here on Saturday to discuss the fallout of the policy framework, which contains “extremely dangerous recommendations” for the fisheries sector.

The recommendations come close on the heels of a proposal for a national fisheries policy, which does not address the needs of traditional fishers, said Charles George of the Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedhi. He added that the policy favoured big capital, while it appeared to be balanced against local fishers, who eke out a living from traditional fishing.

Fisheries experts and scientists as well as leaders of Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation and National Fish Workers’ Forum will participate in a national symposium on the issue.

“The new policy is favourable to capital-intensive enterprises, which will ultimately act against the interests of lakhs of fishermen,” said Mr. George.

Fishers’ unions have called upon the government to empower traditional fishing communities to take up deep-sea fishing instead of allowing capital-intensive investments in diverse areas.

Rumblings against the policy by fishers followed the loud protest against a major pact between a State government agency and a US company for building deep-sea trawlers.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation and the US company was withdrawn following protests by fishers’ unions.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:16:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fishers-up-in-arms-against-blue-economy-draft-policy/article33975181.ece

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