Mangaluru, Nov 21, 2014: The fishermen and fisheries workers who have fought many a battle over the decades for various causes with total unity should continue to remain united to safeguard their interests, said renowned social activist Medha Patkar.
She was speaking after flagging off a ten-day boat rally from Mangaluru to Thiruvananthapuram at the old port (Bunder) here on November 21, Friday. The rally aimed at pressurising the government to fulfil various demands of fishermen has been organised by the National Fishworkers’ Forum, Kerala Swathanthra Masya Thozhilali Federation and Karnataka Coastal Fishermen’s Action Committee.
Medha Patkar further said that the various governments have failed to fulfil the demands of the fishermen. She was also critical of the formation of a new committee headed by Dr B Meenakumari by sidelining the Murari Commission constituted by the UPA government after repeated pressure from fishermen.
On the reports regarding creation of buffer zones from 200 meters to 500 meters, she said it would only allow foreign fishing vessels in Indian waters.
State Minister for youth, sports and fisheries, Abhayachandra Jain assured all out efforts to protect the interests of the fishermen.
Vasudeva Boloor, Vice President of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) in his address urged the government to provide subsidised kerosene for country boats.
T Peter, National Secretary of NFF who also spoke strongly criticised the recommendations of the Dr Meenakumari Report.
Several fishermen leaders were present on the occasion.