‘Marine Bill will affect fishermen’s future’

The Indian Marine Fisheries Bill to be tabled in the Parliament during this session should be opposed tooth and nail by all the MPs, especially those from the Opposition parties, said CPI (M) State executive committee member and former MLA Balabharathi here on Friday.

Presiding over a demonstration in which a large number of fishermen affiliated to the CITU and other associations participated, she said that the BJP government at the Centre had no respect for the fishermen community. The Bill, she said, if passed, would ruin the livelihood of all the fishermen.

The BJP, she accused, was bringing the Bill to please some of their friends in the corporate sector. The Bill proposed the fishermen to indulge in fishing only for 12 nautical miles from the shore. At a time when the catch was poor and that the fishermen did not get the right price for the catch, such measures to curtail the fishermen would only affect their livelihood, she said.

The former MLA said that like toll plazas, wherein the vehicle users had to shell out money for using the highways, the fishermen too have to cough up money for fishing. This is unacceptable and the Left would gather fishermen across the 16 coastal districts in the State and intensify the stir, Ms Balabharathi said.

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