Universities and research institutions should critically study the social and economic dimensions of the problems faced by traditional fish workers, said K Babu, Minister for Excise and Ports.
Babu was inaugurating a state-level workshop organised by Pandit Karuppan Chair of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos) on ‘Empowerment of Fisherfolk and Archiving Traditional Knowledge of Fishermen’ on the campus on Friday.
“Archiving traditional knowledge of fish workers is important in rejuvenating fisheries’ industry. The traditional knowledge will be immensely useful for developing scientific knowledge, which will play a major role in economic development. To archive traditional knowledge, modern scientific techniques should be used. Special focus should be given to protect endangered species of indigenous fishes,” Babu said. He also pointed that Kufos has the potential to establish as a major centre of excellence in the studies of scientific issues in fisheries as well as issues related to livelihood.
“The university statute has come recently. Now it will be easy to initiate further developmental programmes in the university, including acquisition of land as well as faculty appointments,” he said. Former Fisheries Minister S Sharma MLA said the government and other official agencies should be more sensitive to livelihood issues of fish workers.
“The fish workers face several forms of discrimination despite their hard work. The liberalisation of economy is causing new forms of crisis in the sector. Scientific knowledge should be used for the empowerment of fish workers as well as to protect the bio-diversity,” Sharma said.