Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fishermen threaten stir on Marine Bill

Published Date: 28/1/2010

By G Saravanan

Chennai, January 27: IRKED by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s “backdoor” attempt to bring in the controversial Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill-2009 for “orchestrated consensus”, Tamil Nadu fisher men on Wednesday warned the Centre not to meddle with their livelihood. If it became a law, the Bill could affect the fishermen, they said and threatened to launch agitations if the Union government went ahead with it.

“It is a clear case of backstabbing on lakhs of traditional fishermen by the Centre and the Union Agriculture Ministry which had earlier promised to desist from tabling the Bill in Parliament after huge protest from people living in coastal areas,” said K Bharathi, president of South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association.

The so-called consultation meeting among stakeholders and traditional fishermen scheduled in New Delhi on Thursday by the Minister is nothing, but a ploy to create an “artificial scenario” that the fishermen were actually supporting the controversial Bill, said Bharathi.

S A Mahesh, a Kanyakumari- based fishermen and president of All India Traditional Fishermen Association, also expressed strong resentment on the secrecy of the “consultation” meeting on the Bill, that too in the national capital.

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