Madurai

Fishermen oppose MCRZ notification

Ramanathapuram

Members of the Ramanathapuram District Fish Workers Trade Union (RFTU), affiliated to the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), staged a demonstration here on Wednesday, protesting against the new framework of Marine Coastal Regulation Zone (MCRZ) notification, 2017.

Led by A. Palsamy, RFTU president and NFF national secretary, a large number of fish workers, including women, staged the protest, stating it was totally against the fishing community. As the entire coastline in the State would be thrown open for tourism development, fishermen would face a large-scale evacuation from the seashores, they feared.

Mr. Palsamy said the demarcation of the coastal zones as ecologically sensitive areas- CRZ I, urban areas -CRZ II, rural areas - CRZ III and water areas - CRZ IV has been done to benefit Corporate companies, which were engaged in coastal tourism after evacuating the fisherfolk. Once the notification became an Act, they would not be able to dwell within 500 meters from the shore and keep their boats nets, he said.

Now the authorities were trying to accommodate multi-national companies, engaged in coastal tourism within 1000 meters from the shore, he said adding they were also allowed to promote their activities up to 12 nautical miles in the sea, the fishing zone of the traditional fishermen.

“This will deprive the fisherfolk of their livelihood and completely destroy fishing,” he apprehended.

What has been demarked as CRZ 1 in the 1991 notification has figured in CRZ III in the draft notification, 2017, he said. Areas which had been demarked as ‘no development zone’ to reduce the negative impacts of development on fragile ecosystems such as sand dunes, corals and mangroves were now thrown open to developmental activities, he said.

When reports suggested that the notification would become an Act on April 6, the Collector had called for a public hearing on April 19, he said, adding the fisherfolk would oppose the notification tooth and nail in the hearing.

“We want the 1991 Coastal Regulation Zone notification to be made as an Act without any changes,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 2:49:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/fishermen-oppose-notification/article23436297.ece

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