Fishermen warn of intense protests against move to mine seas

Kerala Fisheries Coordination Committee has warned the Union government of protests more intense than farmers’ protests to force the government to abandon the move to mine the seas.

The umbrella organisation of fishermen comprising trade unions across political affiliations will begin with a march to Raj Bhavan on May 5 to register protest against sea mining for building and mineral sands and other materials of commercial value. The Union government is going ahead with sea mining policy despite stiff opposition from the fishermen, alleged T.N. Prathapan of the coordination committee here at a press conference on Saturday.

The government targets to mine more than 700 million tonnes of building sand from the seas off the coast of India. It will sound the death knell for the fisheries sector. With private participation being written into the policy, large monopolies are preparing to join mining operations to the detriment of the fisheries sector.

“Sea and the coast to the children of the sea” is the slogan that will rally thousands of fishermen against sea mining policy, he added. He said that Kerala stood to lose tremendously because of its dependence on the sea cost for fishing activities. Population of small fishes such as mackerels and oil sardines, anchovies and others, which are staple of the people, will be the worst affected.

Large-scale sea rise, loss of environment and eco system will hit thousands of lives on the coast. The coordination committee will organise programmes to create awareness about the impact of sea mining on their lives and livelihood, he added.

The sea mining policy is part of the national Blue Economy programme to exploit the vast resources available at the cost of traditional fishermen community. Fishermen also plan to raise their voice in Parliament and bring MPs from Indian coastal States together to oppose the move.


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