THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) expressed strong protest against the continuing attacks on innocent fishermen while on fishing off South Indian coast. In recent days three incidents were reported, two of them from Kerala coast and the other from Kanyakumari coast.
A statement issued here on Thursday said that it would be better to strengthen the Marine Enforcement wing of the Kerala Fisheries Department rather than equipping the coastal police stations with search and rescue operations.
Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF), the state unit of the NFF, along with all other fishermen unions, community-based organisations and political parties are on a warpath against the inaction by both the Union Government and the State Government. “The hit and run incident is not accidental and this also is a clear case of killing of fishermen while on fishing.
Hence, immediate assistance given to the families of fishermen who were shot dead by the Italian marines may also be extended to the families of these fishermen,” the release said.
The NFF also demanded that all Union Government and State Government agencies responsible for patrolling in our waters should be made more vigilant to ensure the safety of fishermen.
“The Union Government may immediately come out with a marine fishing safety plan for the fishing area covering territorial waters, contiguous waters and EEZ. Subsequently a draft Marine Fishing Safety Bill may be prepared and released for consultation with the stakeholders so as to enact a comprehensive Marine Fishing Safety Act,” the release said.