Rehabilitation of fishing community should not harm livelihood: Expert

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

Discussions at the ongoing third international marine symposium on marine ecosystems: challenges and opportunities (MECOS-3) has focused on the rehabilitation of fishermen community to a safe and secure place. 

John Kurien, visiting Professor at the Azim Premji University, Bengaluru said that the fishers should be given land for housing on the right side of the coastal road, 200 metre from the sea, and the rehabilitation should never be in such a way harming their livelihood.

Many of the coastal villages are increasingly reeling under severe sea erosion thanks to a range of reasons, including climatic phenomenon. The fishermen community deserves a secure dwelling place, but the sea wall has never become an ideal solution, he said.

At the same time, the attempts to move the fishing community into faraway places from the coastal belt should be avoided, as this will definitely affect their livelihood, he added.

He was speaking at a session on fisheries and ecosystem sustainability of the MECOS-3 being held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

He also pointed out that marine fisheries should be moved into concurrent list of the constitution by ensuring enough room for consultation between the centre and states. This would help uniform regulations in the sector. Cooperative federalism in regulation and management of territorial sea would be ideal.

Touching upon the ecosystem destruction and overfishing, Kurien said that internal waters and territorial sea within 12 nautical miles should be free from trawling, pursue-seining and corporate fishing. “These waters are exclusive zone for small-scale fishing”, he said.

He further said that fishermen should be given the right of the first sale of the fish caught by them. Disconnecting the link between credit and product control would benefit the fishers. In the backdrop of climate change, the traditional knowledge of the coastal people should be utilised for identifying the indications of ecosystem changes due to climatic reasons.

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Published on January 09, 2020
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