From the New Indian Express after a meeting this week in Trivandrum:
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Government should not go ahead with the implementation of the Dr Meenakumari Report on fishing sector, the Kerala Swathanthra Matsyathozhilali Federation state committee has demanded.
Inaugurating a workshop on deep sea fishing policy, organised by the Federation in association with National Fishworkers’ Forum and Association of Deep Seagoing Artisanal Fishermen in the city the other day, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John opined that implementing the report will bring the fisheries sector in the state to a major crisis and hence the Centre should not approve the report.
Implementing the report would adversely affect the fisheries sector in the state, he pointed out, adding that it’s time the traditional and small-scale fishing sector in the state are modernised to give a fresh impetus to the fisheries sector here. Fishermen organisations in the field should come up together against Dr Meenakumari report.
The state government would take all possible steps to convince the Union Government on the concerns raised by the fishermen. Traditional and small-scale fishermen should be encouraged for deep sea fishing while foreign vessels would be asked to stay away from this sector, Shibu Baby John said.
Presiding over, National Fishworkers’ Forum secretary T Peter said any attempt to prevent fishermen from carrying out their livelihood activities would be opposed.
The forum would organise protests at the national-level against this, he said. D Sanjeev Ghosh and Vince Jain presented resolutions at the workshop. S Raveendran Nair, Joseph Xavir Kalappurackal, Neythil Vincent, V K Madhusoodanan, Satheesh Babu, Fr Mathyas Oliver, P P John, Anto Elias, V Romance and Jackson Pollayil also spoke.