THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Trade unions and organisations active in the fisheries sector on Tuesday demanded urgent measures for the identification of the bodies of 37 fishermen who died in the Ockhi disaster.
The meeting convened by the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram urged the government to undertake DNA test to identify the bodies recovered from the sea and kept in mortuaries. The meeting also urged the government to provide the families of missing fishermen the same financial assistance given to the kin of the dead fishermen.
Funds collected for Ockhi disaster relief should be spent exclusively for coastal area development. The Central and state budgets should feature adequate funding for fisheries development. There should not be a repetition of 2004 when tsunami funds were diverted for other purposes, the meeting said. The delegates also decided to hold a national fish workers’ conference in Thiruvananthapuram highlighting the issues faced by the sector.
Archdiocese vicar-general Eugene H Pereira presided over the function. Dheevara Sabha general secretary V Dinakaran, fishermen’s union district secretary Pulluvila Stanley and other leaders attended the conference.