NFF hails coastal security plan

Ignatius Pereira

NFF has sent resolution to Central ministries

‘Provide necessary equipment to fishermen’

KOLLAM: T. Peter, national secretary of the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), has welcomed the government’s proposal to strengthen coastal security in the State with the cooperation of fishermen.

Talking to The Hindu here on Saturday, he said a general body meeting of the NFF that concluded at Mandapam, near Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, on December 16 had passed a resolution seeking to complement the efforts of security agencies as information providers.

He said fishermen were only too willing to cooperate with the security agencies. Mr. Peter, who is also president of the Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, congratulated Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan for his initiative to prepare a comprehensive coastal security plan in collaboration with the fishing community.

He said after the Mumbai terror blasts, the NFF had held a meeting to discuss the role of the fishing community in protecting the coast. Delegates from all coastal States had attended the meeting. Copies of the resolution have been sent to the Union Home and Defence Ministries. The message of the resolution would be carried forward as a campaign calling upon the fishing community to protect our waters, he said.

Mr. Peter said fishermen should be provided proper communication equipment to communicate with those on the shore. They should also be given training to handle such situations.

However, it should be ensured that the coastal protection agencies do not harass fishermen in the name of coastal security.

Fishermen engaged in deep sea fishing have complained that they face harassment in the hands of security agencies in the name of coastal security.

Both fishermen and the security agencies have to see each other as allies for the cause of the nation.