Thursday 30 Jun 2022

National fishworkers’ forum firm in opposing cage fishing planned along 200 sq km of Goa coast

Passes resolution against all Sagarmala plans and all new ports to be built across India

National fishworkers’ forum firm in opposing cage fishing planned along 200 sq km of Goa coast

While opposing the Sagarmala project planned across the country, and lodging its objection to the new ports proposed to be built along the country’s coast, the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) has further resolved to oppose tooth and nail cage fishing planned along the 200 sq km of Goa coast.

Newly-elected NFF General Secretary Olencio Simoes has asserted that the Rs 400 crore fishing package plan for Goa by the Union Minister is not for the Goan fishermen, but for the fish farmers, who will be mostly industrialists.

The General Body of National Fishworkers’ Forum being held here on Saturday elected Olencio Simoes as the new General Secretary of the Forum. As a young leader belonging to Goa, working for the fishworker community since more than a decade, the Forum believes that he will take forward the legacy of earlier leaders and will take the work of the organisation to new heights.

The members elected Jackson Pollayil from Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, as the Treasurer of NFF. 

Ramakrishna Tandel from Maharashtra Machimar Kriti Samiti has been elected as the Vice President of NFF.  

The Forum discussed in detail regarding the issues affecting the fish workers across the country and has decided to hold consultations across the communities across India, mobilising the stakeholders and 

making them aware of how various new policies will affect their lives and livelihood.

It was observed that the new policies are leading a path towards occupying the coast and its resources, which will in a way, dispossess the fish workers from their habitations.

“National Fishworkers’ Forum will be making efforts towards creating a Coastal Rights Bill similar to that of the Forest Rights Act, which intends to protect the rights of the fish workers and coastal ecology,” informed NFF Chairperson Narendra R Patil.

He said the NFF has passed resolution against all Sagarmala plans planned across India and opposed all new ports to be built across India, which will be detrimental to the fish workers. 

“It has been also decided to look at the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana at all the coastal states. The draft new Blue Economy Policy 2020, has once again been brought without any consultations with the community and have given far less time to respond apart from no translations in local languages. Members from 8 coastal states attended the meeting with the resolution to meet in Tamil Nadu this December,” he added.

Olencio said that the Rs 400 crore fishing activity planned for Goa by the central minister is not for fishermen of Goa but for fish farmers who will mostly be industrialists. 

“We will strongly oppose cage fishing in 200 sq km planned in Goa,” Olencio warned.

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