Fishing community airs views against Meenakumari report

Maintaining that the Dr B Meenakumari Commission report on marine fisheries sector would adversly affect their livelihood, Kerala's fishermen community Friday expressed its strong resentment before the scientific community at the ongoing World Ocean Science Congress here.

Kochi: Maintaining that the Dr B Meenakumari Commission report on marine fisheries sector would adversly affect their livelihood, Kerala's fishermen community Friday expressed its strong resentment before the scientific community at the ongoing World Ocean Science Congress here.

At the National Fishermen's Meet held on the sidelines of the congress, representatives of various trade unions of fish workers said that allowing large vessels to enter into deep-sea fishing territory of local fishermen will adversely affect the livelihood of the coastal community.

The seven-member experts panel headed by Meenakumari had submitted its report last August and its recommendations included deploying 1,178 deep-sea vessels including existing ones, and an additional 270 vessels comprising 240 tuna long-liners, 15 squid jiggers and 15 purseiner boats in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Speaking on the occasion, Vijnana Bharati Secretary General A Jayakumar said the government should consider putting in place a special insurance system for the fishing community, given the challenges and risks they face while going for deep-sea fishing.

He urged the representatives to chalk out a strategy to resolve the issues faced by the coastal community and submit it to the Central government.

Fish workers' representatives also stressed the need for greater interaction between researchers and the fisher-folk to help improve the livelihood of the fishing community.

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