With the aim to “Protect Sea, Coast, Inland water bodies and Fish Resources”, Delhi Solidarity Group requests citizens to join a ‘Boat March’ from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram between 21st – 30th November 2014 to stand in solidarity with the struggling fishworkers all over the country. The march is organized by Kerala Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF) in association with NFF and ADSGAF. Reproduced below is their release. – Editor
While the crisis in the fisheries sector is increasing day by day on one hand, the traditional fishing communities are losing their rights and access to the sea and the coast on the other. The coastal areas are being grabbed and taken over by the tourism industry, Real Estate and other development sectors while displacing the traditional fishing community and now, these sensitive zones are being allotted to hazardous and polluting ship breaking yards.
All the governments that have come to rule year after year have been equally indifferent to the plight of Fishworkers and allowed the foreign fishing vessels to wipe out the precious marine resources and destroy our ecology. A series of bans and restrictions have been imposed on the traditional fishing communities through declaring Marine Protected Areas, Bans on fishing in the offshore area of depth 200 to 500 meters (Buffer zone), SEZ involving coast and the sea, ban of shark fishing etc. The government has acted in a very biased manner as it has allowed the foreign fishing vessels to prosper but restrict the traditional communities in those very areas.
In this context, the fishing community under the leadership of Kerala Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF) in association with NFF and ADSGAF is initiating a ‘Boat March’ from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram with a slogan “Protect Sea, Coast, Inland water bodies and Fish Resources”. The march will start from Mangalore on November 21st on the International Fish workers’ Day and it will be inaugurated at 10.30 am by Medha Patkar. Public meetings will be held at all fish landing centers and fishing harbors on the route from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram. The Boat March will reach at Shangumugham beach, Thiruvananthapuram on November 30th at 6 pm. Many social, cultural, environmental, political and trade union activists will join this programme.
We request you on behalf of the Delhi Solidarity Group to join the Boat march and stand in solidarity with the struggling Fishworkers all over the country. We also appeal to you to support and assist the march through any means possible – material, human and financial.
For any information, kindly contact:
Anil – 8527830687
Shefali – 9582671784
PP John, President, Kerala Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF)
Pollayil, General Secretary, Kerala Swathanthra Malsyathozhilaly Federation (KSMTF)
T. Peter, National Secretary, National Fishworkers Forum (NFF)