“Fishing Rights are Human Rights”: National Fishworkers’ Forum Adopts Resolution With 12 Key Demands

The Annual Executive Committee meeting of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) was held on August 11th and 12th at the Govt. Guest House, Pondicherry.

The following are the decisions made and resolutions taken in the meeting:

  1. It was decided to hold the annual general body meet of NFF for the year at Tuticorin on 9th and 10th of December2016 and observing the International Human Rights Day, it was decided to raise the slogan “Fishing Rights are Human Rights” and hold a mass rally on the 10th December at Tuticorin.
  2. As the World forum of Fisher Peoples’ (WFFP) Completes its 20th year in 2017, the by decadal celebration and the 7th convention (that is held every third year) is decided by WFFP to be held at New Delhi where it was started 20 years ago, the NFF welcomes the decision and decided to take responsibility to take care of the logistics.
  3. The plan of establishing a commercial port in Inayam of Kanyakumari as decided by the Union government will destroy the life and livelihood of the fisher communities of the region and also will damage the coastal and marine ecology and environment of the region, it was decided that a public hearing shall be held with the support of experts of the subject and NFF shall coordinate thePublic hearing.
  4. It was decided that in protests and rallies organised byNarmada Bachao Andolan in Gujarat and Madya Pradesh under the leadership of Medha Patkar, the leaders of National Fishworkers’ Forum shall participate and show solidarity.
  5. Protesting against the anti people development schemes promoted by the Union government through aquistion of agricultural land, coast, sea, forest and hills to establish coastal roads, commercial ports, thermal power stations, atomic power stations, hazardous industries, coastal resorts, industrial corridors that link the metro cities in the western and eastern coasts, joining hands with organizations like, NAPM, AIFWU, NTUI, the NFF decided to hold a three day action at New Delhi in support of the demands of the above organisations.
  6. The fishermen of Gujarat, Diu and Daman who go for fishing for livelihood often unknowingly drift into Pakistan waters and are arrested and incarcerated in various Pakistan prisons. Even though there is ample opportunity to establish their nationality  verification through the latest technologies, the government of India is so careless and let them languish in the prisons of Pakistan for long periods. It was decided that a Conference shall be held in Gujarat in October to assess the status of the fishermen and the situation prevailing.

The above are the decision made and the following resolutions were passed:

  1. The Indian fishermen should be recognised and listed as Scheduled Tribes.
  2. A separate Ministry shall be created in the Union government for the fisheries and fisher people welfare.
  3. Fishing occupation should be recognised on par with the agriculture by the Union Government.
  4. A Coastal Regulation Act should be passed replacing Coastal Regulation Zone Notification.
  5. As in the fashion of the Tribal Rights Act over the forests and hills, an act shall be introduced to protect and recognise the rights of the fisher communities over the coastal and inland water bodies and ensure the livelihood rights of the traditional fisher people over the marine resources and that of the inland water bodies.
  6. In the case of implementation of subsidy cum loans for fishermen housing, subsidy for fuel like Diesel, Kerosene and for savings cum relief scheme, the Central and State government shall not consider the below poverty line criteria. and shall make them available for all the traditional fisher people.
  7. The right for having fish market for the traditional fisher women shall be legalised.
  8. The plan to have new commercial ports that destroy the livelihood of fisher communities shall be given up both by the Central and the State governments
  9. No new thermal or atomic power plants shall be contemplated in the coastal regions of India.
  10. No industrial corridor shall be introduced between the coastal cities of India.
  11. The destructive gears such as purse siene and allbottom trawling nets including Twin trawling, Bull trawling, Pair trawling shall be banned by both the Union and State governments and the criminal action against those who violate shall be harsh and immediate.
  12. Asthe industrial pollutions, city garbage including plastic waste are permitted to be let into the inland water bodies and the sea by the Central government, state governments and the local bodies, the fish resource is very much affected and the production of fish food supplement is reduced. We demand that the such disposing shall be immediately stopped.

It is decided that state level actions such as rallies, conferences and demonstrations shall be held by the members of NFF in their respective states pressing upon the above mentioned demands., in every coastal state within the period of December 2016 to February 2017. it was decided that in such state level actions.

Ilango, Chairperson, National Fishworkers’ Forum.

T.Peter, National Secretary, National Fishworkers Forum

 

 

 

  • K SHESHU BABU

    Fisher people earn their living in taking enormous risk by going into the rough seas to catch fish. Their risks are not covered by the government policies. In the times if cyclones and storms, they cannot go for fishing and their earning would become difficult. Their demands are perfectly just and genuine. They should be included in scheduled tribe list to avail the facilities granted by the Constitution. A special act for protecting them in case of inadvertently drifting into another country must be formulated to monitor their paths