Fishermen demand withdrawal of Marine Fisheries Bill 2021

CITU State deputy general secretary V. Kumar addresses members at the fifth State conference of fishermen held in Rameswaram on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

The Tamil Nadu government should immediately revive the welfare board for fishermen and include all the stakeholders in the scheme, was one of the major demands put forth at the fifth State conference of fishermen affiliated with the CITU here on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters, CITU State deputy general secretary V. Kumar said that the welfare board had remained dormant for the last 10 years during the AIADMK regime. The DMK government had promised to revive and give a new meaning to the lives of fishermen, he added.

In a resolution passed at the conference, members had urged the government to give pension of ₹3,000 per month to men above 60 years and 55 years for women.

The key resolution was that the Union government should withdraw the Marine Fisheries Bill 2021 as it was against the fishermen but was beneficial for corporate business houses engaged in fisheries sector, they charged.

Though the BJP leaders claimed that it was advantageous for the fishermen, the members pointed out that it would only deprive the legitimate rights of the fishermen.

For the country boat fishermen, who were already facing serious issues including poor catch due to restrictions in the nautical miles, the Marine Fisheries Bill 2021, tabled in the Parliament, would only seal their chances of survival.

Among other resolutions that were passed, they wanted the diesel given for mechanised boat fishermen to be enhanced to 40,000 litres and kerosene quota be increased from 4,000 litres to 6,000 litres to card holders.

The government should strictly step up surveillance against use of banned fish nets.

Welcoming the DMK government’s announcement to enhance financial assistance to fishermen during the annual ban period from ₹5,000 to ₹8,000, the conference demanded it to be made to ₹10,000 per fisherman.

In recent times, atmosphere in the mid-seas has been tense due to the presence of the Sri Lankan Navy. As many fishermen have gone missing, the governments should provide helicopters to the fisheries department for effective surveillance.

By intensifying the vigil, the lives of fishermen could be saved, speakers at the conference pointed out and underlined the need for stepping up infrastructural facilities.

Fishermen Federation state president G. Selasteen presided. CITU district secretary M. Sivaji welcomed and M. Karunamoorthy proposed a vote of thanks.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:14:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/fishermen-demand-withdrawal-of-marine-fisheries-bill-2021/article36536304.ece

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