NFF Coastal Campaign
  Press Release, Vishakhapatnam,
 

NATIONAL FISHWORKERS' FORUM (NFF)

Head Office: 20/4 Sil Lane, Kolkata – 700 015, Telefax:033-23283989, Mob:09434039599, e-mail: nffcal3@vsnl.com

Delhi Office: C/O Delhi Forum,  F10/12 Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017, Tel: 011-26680914, 011- 20080883

Machhimar Adhikar Rashtriya Abhiyan

 (National Campaign for the Rights of Fisherpeople)

Kutch- Kanyakumari- Kolkata

 1st May to 27th June 2008

FISHERS MARCH TO DELHI

PRESS RELEASE  

Vishakhapatnam, JUNE 13, 2008

 

The National Campaign for the Rights of Fisherpeople with the motto "Save the Coast, Save the Fishers" started from Jakhau, Kutch,  Gujarat on the 1st May 2008 and reached Vishakhapatnam today. The Jatha was accorded a warm reception by  North Andhra Traditional Fish Workers' Union. Fishing community leaders from different villages of Nellore, Prakasham and Guntur districts  along with representative of civil society organisations and eminent persons from different professions organized several meetings over the last three days in southern part of AP in solidarity with the campaign for protection of fisher peoples' rights. The Campaigners demands scrapping of draft Coastal Zone Management (CMZ) Notification of MoEF.

 

In the course of its journey so far, the campaign team found the fisher people and other coastal communities severely opposing the move of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to replace the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification of 1991 by a new Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification. Communities across the coast considered the new CMZ notification as a design to condone all violations of the CRZ committed by various commercial interests and to protect those who connived to allow such violations. The fisherpeople alleged CMZ will further open the flood gates for exploitation and plunder of coastal resources to the detriment of fisher people and other coastal communities. Ultimately this would result in a crisis of food and nutritional security of the people. People burnt copies of the draft CMZ notification to give vent to their wrath. On its way - from Kutch to Vishakhapatnam along the coastline - the campaign encountered quite a number of ecologically damaging projects in coastal zone e.g Mundra SEZ in Kutch, Reliance Petrochem & Refineries in Jamnagar, Atul Agrochemicals in Dahej (all in Gujarat); Special Tourism Zone (STZ) in Gorai, Reliance Container Port in Raigadh, Bharati Shipyard in Dabhol (all in Maharastra); water sport complex of UB group in Nerul, (Goa); proposed special mega tourism zone in north Karnataka, government intention of coastal reclamation  for industrial use in Kerala, rampant sand mining in all states, Commercial Harbours at Colachel, Kulasekharapatnam thermal power plant, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project in Tamilnadu, Displacement of four fishing villages in Ramalingapuram, Ship breaking project at Vadarevu and Special Tourism Zone in Suryalanka in Andhra Pradesh  are a few to mention. Coastal Corridor Project in Andhra Pradesh is completely snatching away the coast from the fisher people and other coastal communities.  

 

Fishworkers specifically complained against commercial harbours, mushrooming of industrial projects, SEZ, industrial aquaculture, unbridled tourism, sand mining, import of fish, SSSC, inadequate and irregular supply of Kerosene for OBM and discrepancy in utilization of tsunami funds. They complained against the operation of foreign vessels in Indian waters indulging in indiscriminate fishing by use of unauthorized gears.

Some of the demands:

 

¨      Withdraw CMZ Notification and strictly implement CRZ Notification – 1991 till enactment of a comprehensive legislation.

¨      Stop polluting the coastal region and eviction of fisher people from their livelihood by commercial harbours, ship breaking units, SEZ, thermal power plants, tourism industry, sand mining etc.

¨      Cancel Letter of Permits given to foreign fishing vessels

¨      Stop diversion of Tsunami rehabilitation fund to other projects and utilize the entire fund for the Tsunami affected people without any further delay.

 

NFF Campaign team will continue its sojourn along the Andhra Pradesh coast till 15th June, 2008 and will conclude in Kolkata on 27th June after traveling along the coastline of Orissa and West Bengal.

 

Action Programme:

 

1. Fisher people with coastal community will observe National Day of Action against CMZ Notification on 20th June, 2008. Their will be picketing, dharna and other forms of agitation in front of the government offices nearest to the fishing villages.

 

2. Fishing community and other coastal communities will march onto the Parliament during the monsoon session on 22nd July 2008 and continue agitation in Delhi for indefinite period till withdrawal of CMZ Notification & realization of 15 point Charter of Demands. 

 

Mr. Harekrishna Debnath, Chairperson, National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF), NFF Executive Members Mr. P. Ramalingam (Andhra Pradesh), Mr. Ramesh Dhuri (Maharashtra), Mr. K. Alleya (Orissa), Mr. Debashis Shyamal (West Bengal), Mr. Richard, Tamilnadu Fishworkers'Union, Sasanka Dev, DISHA and Mr. Osman Gani Sourashia (Gujrat) took part in the Abhiyan..

 

 

 

 

Harekrishna Debnath                                                                T. K. Rehman

Chairperson                                                                              North Andhra TFU

National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF)

 
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